Former champion Andy Roddick withstood a barrage of winners from young Ernests Gulbis in the first two sets before fighting back for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 second-round victory at the US Open.
Both players celebrated birthdays as the clock struck midnight in a late-starting match due to earlier rain delays at Flushing Meadows. Roddick turned 26 and 40th-ranked Gulbis left his teen-age years behind by marking his 20th birthday.
Gulbis was near perfect in the opening set, booming in his first serves and ripping winners from all angles as he roared through the first set after breaking the American's serve in the second game and then served for the second set at 5-4.
Roddick, however, turned the tide in the 10th game, setting up break point with a dazzling, running forehand passing shot he curled just inside the line. A forehand long from Gulbis gave Roddick his first service break of the slugfest.
The American won the next five games to race to a 3-0 lead in the third set, taking charge before a tight fourth set yielded a lone service break in the last game.
Roddick, the 2003 champion, advanced to a third-round match against 31st seed Andreas Seppi of Italy.