Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny has defeated former champion Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round of the US Open.
In five sets lasting just two minutes shy of four hours, Youzhny wore down the Australian 6-3 3-6 6-7 (3/7) 6-4 7-5.
Hewitt missed his a chance to wrap up the match leading 4-1 in the fourth set and was broken as he was serving for the match at 5-3 in the decider.
Youzhny managed to wind up the last five games to lock in his position in the quarter-final with Novak Djokovic.
After the match Hewitt was unable to say if he would be at the next US Open admitting that the games has changed since he began playing.
“Back then, the way that I moved on the court was pretty good,” Hewitt said.
“Obviously the way I counter-punched. The game is always changing as well the whole time.
“I’ve played through a couple of different generations. There’s a lot of bigger, stronger guys out there dictating play with their serve and forehand. It’s 1-2 tennis.”
Youzhny was not deterred by the support for Hewitt during the match.
“It was a great atmosphere and a joy to play here. I fought back in the fourth and fifth sets because I didn’t want to be heading home just yet,” Youzhny said
“The crowd wasn’t against me but for Lleyton. It gave me power to keep coming back.
“Lleyton is a great player. When he is on the court he always fights. He’s still a top player and can beat top players like (Juan Martin) Del Potro (in the second round). It was very tough for me to beat him for just the second time.”