Roger Federer is one step away from another US Open final after beating Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.
The Swiss former world number one saved two match points to beat his French opponent in New York 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.
Federer, a five-time US Open winner, will now face Marin Cilic of Croatia on Saturday with a place in the final at stake, having been taken all the way by Monfils who won the first two sets on Thursday.
“I still thought the finish line was far for Gael,” said Federer. “I knew I could play better tennis. When I was down two match points, that’s when I wasn’t feeling too good any more.
“I thought ‘this is it, don’t let him have an easy shot, and go down fighting’. But I served well and managed to turn it around.”
Federer, 33, admitted it felt “very special” to beat Monfils in such dramatic fashion after the 28-year-old Paris native squandered two chances to send him home.
“It’s just unbelievable to win matches like this at Slams,” added Federer. “I have won other big ones in other places but over best-of-five, saving match points against Gael in an atmosphere that it was out here tonight, it’s definitely very special.
“I’m not sure I have ever saved match point before in a Slam. If that hasn’t happened, I’m unbelievably happy that it was today.”
Cilic booked his place in the last four with a straight-sets victory over Tomas Berdych, winning 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in just over two hours.