-- NEW YORK -- With the winds gusting on Arthur Ashe Stadium Thursday night, Roger Federer showed some serious guts.
The showman Gael Monfils had played smart ball, a welcome sight for a player as talented as he is, and rolled to a two-set lead against Federer.
And by all accounts, it looked like the 2014 Grand Slam season was over for Federer, who had come into New York fresh off a title at the Cincinnati Masters.
It wasn't exactly a masterpiece, but Federer's resolve kicked in while Monfils simultaneously devolved into the player we've come to know. Federer won the match 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2, his ninth career comeback from two sets down.
The others, you ask? Here's a look.
2000 US Open, first round versus Peter Wessels, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 3-4 (retired)
What better way for Federer to start his US Open campaign? In his first-ever match at the US Open, he found himself in a two-set hole against the Dutchman. But Fed, who had lost seven straight matches coming into New York, fought back and ultimately won when Wessels retired with a sprained ankle.
2001 French Open, second round versus Sargis Sargsian, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 9-7
Federer was far from a clay-court master of any kind in 2001, and against a feisty Armenian in Sargsian, Federer struggled early on. Sargsian had spent copious time hitting with and learning from Andre Agassi in his career. But Federer dug in, won and rolled to the quarterfinals until he ran into Alex Corretja, a player who made a sweet living in Paris.
2005 Nasdaq 100, final versus Rafael Nadal, 2-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-1
If only this was a precursor to their longstanding rivalry, Federer might have close to 25 Grand Slam titles. Nadal, just 18 at the time and donning long shorts and a sleeveless shirt, was the youngest finalist in the tournament's history. But after 3 hours, 42 minutes, Federer completed his comeback and won his 22nd straight match.
2009 Australian Open, fourth round versus Tomas Berdych, 4-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Interestingly, Federer and Berdych would be playing in Saturday's semis had the Czech won his quarterfinal match here in New York against Marin Cilic. In Melbourne, Berdych came out with thunderous groundstrokes before Federer's defensive prowess took over the match. Federer was seeking to tie Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles, but he lost the final to Nadal.
2009 French Open, fourth round versus Tommy Haas, 6-7 (4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
Federer was five point away from bowing out of Roland Garros against the 63rd-ranked player in the world, who had long struggled with health. And for Federer, it's a good thing he fought back. Three matches later, he'd win his only French Open title to date, completing the career Slam and tying Sampras. All in a day's work -- sort of.
2010 Wimbledon, first round versus Alejandro Falla, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0
This one came out of nowhere. How did a Columbian clay-courter almost stun Federer, who was 71-2 on grass at the time? There are no answers, except that this would have ranked as one of the all-time epic upsets. For Federer, this struggle was a sign of things to come. For the first time in eight years, Federer failed to reach the final of Wimbledon.
2012 French Open, quarterfinals versus Juan Martin del Potro, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3
It was a cool, damp day on the already cloying grounds of Roland Garros, and del Potro was one of the biggest hitters in the game. But as the match wore on, del Potro's movement became severely strained, and Federer would lose only five games in the final three sets.
2012 Wimbledon, third round versus Julien Benneteau, 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1
Benneteau, one of the more enigmatic players today, came out firing, but eventually, the Frenchman's game became listless, if not lifeless. Two massages in the final set couldn't help Benneteau. Federer quickly woke up after that match and went on to win his 17th and most recent final Grand Slam.
2014 US Open, quarterfinals versus Gael Monfils, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
The drama almost made you forget the NFL season had begun Thursday night. Monfils came into the match having won 12 straight sets, which was astonishing for a player whose mental fragility has long been questioned. Amid gusty conditions, Federer couldn't find a rhythm until he was down two match points in the fourth set. After saving those, Federer's confidence rose with every point.