8/30/12 4:10 AM | Ricky Dimon
Ernests Gulbis, Gilles Muller, and Janko Tipsarevic all storm back from two sets down in a wild U.S. Open first round on Wednesday. A total of nine two-set comebacks have already been staged, tying the tournament record in 1989.
Ernests Gulbis d. (21) Tommy Haas 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
Gulbis completed the ninth comeback from two sets down in the U.S. Open when he stunned Haas in three hours and 44 minutes during first-round action on Wednesday afternoon. The slumping Latvian appeared to be on his way to another early exit when he trailed by two sets and a break in the third. From 3-1 behind in the middle set, though, Gulbis somehow woke up and found his good side. Haas, ranked 21st in the world to Gulbis' No. 145, dropped serve at 4-5 in the third and 5-6 in the fourth and he could not recover. Gulbis broke again at 4-3 in the decider and served it out with no trouble. Next up for Gulbis is two-time NCAA champion Steve Johnson.
Gilles Muller d. (28) Mikhail Youzhny 2-6, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(6), 7-6(6)
Muller, who traditionally does his best work in Flushing Meadows, pulled another trick out his hat by outlasting Youzhny in four hours and 23 minutes. The Luxembourgian, who upset Andy Roddick in a 2005 first-round stunner before reaching the quarterfinals in 2008, blasted 25 aces and saved one match point at 5-6 in the fourth-set tiebreaker. Youzhny also battled, recovering from a break down in the fifth and fighting off a match point with his opponent serving at 5-4. The 28th-seeded Russian eventually led 5-3 in the final 'breaker before going down. Muller will face 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second round.
(8) Tipsarevic d. (WC) Guillaume Rufin 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Tipsarevic was the first to come back from two sets down on Wednesday, and he did so in relatively straightforward fashion--if there is such a thing. Rufin did not even serve particularly well in the first two sets, but the wild card broke twice in each frame to race ahead. The rest of the way, however, it was all Tipsarevic. The ninth-ranked Serb continued to handle his opponent's big serve and he finally started taking care of his own service games. Tipsarevic broke twice in the third, once in the fourth (in seven chances) and twice in the fifth to set up a second-round meeting with Brian Baker.
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