Second-seeded Roger Federer staved off a significant upset attempt from 20th-seeded Gael Monfils Thursday night at the U.S. Open, coming back from a two-set deficit to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
Federer, of Switzerland, outlasted Monfils in five sets — 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. Federer will face 14th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia in the semifinal round.
Monfils won the first two sets, but Federer came back in the third. Monfils missed a golden opportunity to win the match in the fourth set, finding himself in position to break Federer's serve to win.
"I thought, this is it," Federer admitted in an on-camera ESPN interview after the match of Monfils' two match points. "This is the last point, man."
But Federer bounced back from the two match points, won the game, and broke Monfils' serve to win the set. Once he won the fourth set, Federer cruised to victory in the fifth.
The winner of the Federer-Cilic match will face the winner of top-seeded Novak Djokovic and No. 10 Kei Nishikori in the championship match, set for Sunday in Flushing, N.Y.