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Heartbreak for Hewitt as Youzhny wins U.S. Open thriller

Mikhail Youzhny of Russia celebrates his victory over Lleyton Hewitt of Australia at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York Septembe
Mikhail Youzhny of Russia celebrates his victory over Lleyton Hewitt of Australia at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York Septembe

By Will Swanton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russia's Mikhail Youzhny ended Lleyton Hewitt's magical run at the U.S. Open on Tuesday and advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 3-6 6-7(3) 6-4 7-5 victory over the Australian veteran.

Hewitt, who stunned sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round, squandered a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, and a 5-2 advantage in the fifth as Youzhny battled back to seal victory in three hours and 58 minutes.

"It was a great atmosphere," said Youzhny, the 21st seed at Flushing Meadows. "Finally, I was lucky. The crowd was great and gave me the power to beat Lleyton today."

The 32-year-old Australian had looked headed for his first U.S. Open quarter-finals berth since 2006 after he ran through the third-set tiebreaker against an error-prone Youzhny.

Hewitt then broke Youzhny's serve in the opening game of the fourth set and had all the momentum. But the Russian fought back to break Hewitt in the seventh game, then repeated the feat to be serving for the set at 5-4.

Hewitt and Youzhny traded breaks to start the deciding set. The Australian fell heavily on his left elbow, drawing blood and requiring a medical timeout in the fourth game but still managed to get himself to within two points of clinching the match.

But Youzhny showed his resolve and won five consecutive games to seal the match and secure a quarter-finals showdown with either top seed Novak Djokovic or Spain's Marcel Granollers.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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