• Federer beats exhausted Youzhny 6-1, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
• Swiss’s first two matches at US Open have both gone to five sets
Mikhail Youzhny, who had not beaten Roger Federer in 16 attempts, defied cramping to expose the Swiss’s worrying frailties before falling in five sets in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.
Federer won 6-1, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in front of a perplexed and often concerned audience on the main court, Arthur Ashe, but he hardly erased the unpalatable memory of nearly losing to the American Frances Tiafoe over the same distance in the first round. If he cannot tap into the inspirational tennis that lifted him to triumph in Melbourne and Wimbledon this year, his progress in New York is in serious jeopardy.