Andy Roddick saw off Mikhail Youzhny in the semi-finals of the US Open on Saturday to set up a final against defending champion Roger Federer.
Roddick is looking to add to his 2003 US Open title
The American won 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in the second semi, after Federer earlier beat Nikolay Davydenko.
It was hard work for Roddick against the unseeded Youzhny, who beat second seed Rafael Nadal in the quarters.
But after dropping the first set, 2003 champion Roddick came back to win in two hours 45 minutes.
The pressure was on the ninth seed to set up the final that so many people, particularly in the US, were hoping to see, and he started tentatively.
Youzhny broke the fearsome Roddick serve in game three but could not hang on, allowing the American to get back on level terms in game six.
I took a page out of a guy named Andre Agassi's book and stepped inside the baseline
A tie-break followed and, despite letting a 5-2 lead slip, it was the Russian who took it when he forced Roddick to miss with a volley.
A clearly irate Roddick buckled down in the second and swept through six straight games, but any thought that victory was now a formality disappeared as the gritty Youzhny hung on.
Despite being constantly under pressure on serve, Youzhny forced a tie-break - only for Roddick to finally exert his authority with four straight points from 3-3.
By the start of the fourth set Youzhny was visibly tiring, but it was not until game eight that he succumbed, with four errors handing Roddick the crucial break.
There was one more twist when the Russian battled back from 40-0 down to save three match points, but Roddick stayed focused and served out to reach his fourth Grand Slam final.
"It means the world to me," said Roddick. "(After the first set) I tried to step into my shots a little.
"I took a page out of a guy named Andre Agassi's book and stepped inside the baseline.
"Now I will enjoy this for about five minutes, have lots to eat tonight, get some rest and then try to come out here tomorrow and win a US Open."
Youzhny said: "It is the best tournament of my career.
"I have won a couple of tournaments but here I had a tough draw and I beat five good players in a row."