MOSCOW, Sep 23 (Reuters) Mikhail Youzhny beat Philipp Petzschner 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-3 in today's first reverse singles to pull Russia level with Germany at 2-2 in the Davis Cup semi-final and keep alive their chances of retaining the title.
Youzhny, Russia's 2002 Davis Cup hero, came to the rescue once again, replacing injured world number four Nikolay Davydenko for the match against 206th-ranked Petzschner, who was playing in place of the unwell Germany number one Tommy Haas.
The Russian world number 17 looked in control for the first two sets, breaking serve three times to build a two-set lead.
But the 23-year-old German, playing his first singles match in the Davis Cup, fought back. He broke Youzhny in the fourth game after a wild forehand by the Russian to take the third set.
Youzhny got back on track in the fourth set, breaking Petzschner's serve in the fourth game before clinching victory with his sixth ace after two hours 48 minutes.
Russia's Igor Andreev was due to face Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fifth and deciding rubber.
REUTERS TB RK2010