9/1/12 6:53 AM | Ricky Dimon
Lleyton Hewitt overcomes Gilles Muller in five sets on Friday at the U.S. Open. Hewitt is joined in the third round by Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Benoit Paire in a fifth-set tiebreaker.
(WC) Lleyton Hewitt d. Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4
Hewitt survived Muller in four hours and 35 minutes on Friday afternoon to book a well-earned spot in the U.S. Open third round. Muller had Hewitt on the ropes for much of the match, including late in the second set. The left-handed Luxembourgian served for a two-set lead at 5-4, but Hewitt broke then took the ensuing tiebreaker with a perfect backhand lob at 6-5.
Muller returned the favor by winning the third-set 'breaker seven points to five. However, Hewitt is never one to go away without a fight and he certainly wasn't about to do that in this one. The 31-year-old Aussie was too tough in the pressure moments, breaking at 6-5 in the fourth and 5-4 in the fifth. A disappointing end to the proceedings came when Muller double-faulted on match point in the 10th game of the decider. Hewitt will go up against fellow veteran David Ferrer for a place in the fourth round.
(19) Philipp Kohlschreiber d. Benoit Paire 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(4)
A wild nightcap saw Kohlschreiber outlast Paire in three hours and 38 minutes as second-round action wrapped up on Friday. Both players took turns battling back from deficits. Kohlschreiber lost the first in a tiebreaker but surrendered a mere three service points in the second to level things up with ease. Paire was quick to regain momentum by racing to a two-break lead in the third.
After Kohlschreiber all but threw in the towel in set three, Paire did the same in set four. If the previous play had been lackluster, though, it set the stage for a dramatic fifth. Kohlschreiber surged to a 3-0 lead, but just when it looked like the Frenchman was finished it all turned around when the German drilled his opponent with what should have been a routine pass. That woke up Paire, who managed to hold at 1-4 then broke one game later to get back on serve.
An inspired Paire broke again at 5-5, but the volatile swings were not done yet. The underdog cracked with the pressure on, as Kohlschreiber broke back to force a decisive tiebreaker. This time there was no comeback for Paire, who soon turned in his 11th and 12th double-faults--the last on match point at 4-6. Kohlschreiber will face John Isner on Sunday.
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