Roger Federer managed to pull out his second five-set victory in a row at the US Open, coming back to edge 101st-ranked Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
It was a much tougher test than might have been expected, considering that Federer entered the match 16-0 against Youzhny and 16-0 in second-round matches at Flushing Meadows.
Federer won five consecutive US Open championships from 2004-08 and also was the runner-up twice, including two years ago.
Youzhny is a former top-10 player who reached the US Open semifinals in 2006 and 2010. His level of play dipped considerably over the last two sets today as he appeared to be restricted by a leg cramp.
The 36-year-old Federer was not quite himself for much of the match, either. He committed 68 unforced errors and appearing slowed by a bad back that he tweaked earlier in August.
Federer also needed five sets to win in the first round against 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe.