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Mikhail Mikhailovich Youzhny (Russian: (mixaˈil ˈjuʒnɨj) born 25 June 1982, in Moscow, USSRmarker (now Russia), is a professional Russian tennis player, noted for his consistency and all-court play style.

The highest singles world ranking of his career was number eight, achieved on 28 January 2008.

Playing style and equipment

Youzhny has a unique backhand, in which he mainly hits one-handed, but also has somewhat of a hybrid reminiscent to that of Björn Borg. Youzhny at times will follow through his backhand with both hands, but with only his right hand on his racket. Even so, many consider his backhand to be his best shot. From both sides, Youzhny hits the ball on the rise, achieving a flatter trajectory. He has a good court sense and often makes use of dropshots.

Youzhny has a reputation for engaging the crowd, subsequently taking inspiration from it to attempt high-risk winners, especially when facing matchpoints. After each big victory Youzhny gives a military style salute to the spectators. He does it by holding the tennis racquet above his head with his left hand and saluting with his right hand. The racquet imitates a hat, since according to Russian military tradition one must wear a hat to give proper salute.

Youzhny represents Central Red Army Tennis Club, and is also an avid supporter of FC CSKA.

As for his equipment, he wears the adidas Edge Group clothing and Barricade V shoes and uses a Head MicroGel Extreme Pro racquet.

Career

In 1999, the year in which he turned professional, Youzhny captured four titles on the Futures tour.

2000-06

In 2000, he reached his first ATP tour quarterfinal in Moscow.

In 2001, he reached the third round of the Australian Openmarker, made his first ATP tour semifinal at Copenhagenmarker, and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon, losing to eventual finalist Patrick Rafter. Youzhny also reached the third round at the US Open, losing to eventual finalist Pete Sampras.

The following year in 2002, Youzhny captured in Stuttgart his first ATP title, and led Russia to its first Davis Cup title, but he did not play for six weeks due to a back injury. By winning this match, Youzhny became the first ever player to recover successfully from a two sets to love deficit in the live fifth rubber of a Davis Cup Final.

During 2004 he won a career-high 42 matches, finishing the year in the top 20.

One of his best tournaments was the 2006 U.S. Open. Having beaten Tommy Robredo 6–2, 6–0, 6–1 he defeated World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6–3, 5–7, 7–6, 6–1 in the quarterfinal. He lost in the semi-finals to Andy Roddick 6–7 6–0 7–6 6–3. In the men's doubles, Youzhny partnered Leoš Friedl; together they defeated the world's number one pairing, Bob and Mike Bryan in the round of 16, before losing to Martin Damm and Leander Paes in the quarterfinals.

2007

At the start of the year Youzhny reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open, losing to eventual champion world number one Roger Federer. He then reached the semifinals of Zagreb and won his third career ATP title in Rotterdam. Later in March he reached the final in Dubaimarker, having defeated the second-seed Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. He lost 6–4, 6–3 to Federer. His good form continued a few weeks later at Munich, where he reached the final, losing to first-time finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber 2–6 6–3 6-4. Youhzny, in the 2007 French Open Fourth Round, once again faced Federer, this time succumbing 7–6, 6–4, 6–4. This run pushed him to a career high of number 14 in the world. Immediately before Wimbledon he benefited from Gasquet's poor title defence at Nottingham, and rose to world number 13, despite not playing himself that week. Later in the year he reached the 3rd round of the Canadian Masters, losing to Nikolay Davydenko—this took him into the world top ten.

2008

Youzhny's first tournament of 2008 was Chennai in India. He reached the final, where he beat Rafael Nadal, the top seed, 6–0, 6–1 in under an hour. However, the scoreline does not reflect the circumstances, Nadal's semi-final finished mere hours beforehand and he had little rest. In the Australian Open Youzhny, for the first time in his career, beat Nikolay Davydenko. He fell in the quarter-finals to eventual finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

On 1 April in the Miami Masters, Youzhny was 4-5 down with Nicolas Almagro serving in the final set, he hit a relatively easy return into the net. He gestured angrily towards his own temple, and then hit his head strongly with the edge of frame of his tennis racket three times, drawing blood. Despite this—and after receiving medical attention—he won the next seven points, taking the tiebreaker and also the match. He then played with Russia in the ARAG World Tennis Team Cup and reached the final, before losing to Swedenmarker.

After Wimbledonmarker - where he lost in the fourth round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal - Youzhny hasn't won three matches in a row, suffering first-round losses at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinnatimarker, Ohiomarker), the 2008 Madrid Masters and the BNP Paribas Masters. At the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Youzhny lost in the third round to eventual bronze medal winner Novak Djokovic.

2009

Youzhny didn't start well at the first tournaments in 2009, losing in the first round of the Australian Open to 183-ranked Stefan Koubek in straight sets 3-6 2-6 2-6. He reached back-to-back quarterfinals at ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdammarker and the Marseille Open, defeating David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych on his way.

In the Davis Cup first round tie against Romaniamarker, he won his singles match against Victor Hanescu in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2. Russiamarker eventually won the tie 4-1 with a lone loss in the doubles rubber.

At Queens Club, he paired up with doubles veteran Wesley Moodie and won the doubles title in their debut.

Heavily favored Russia was hosted by Israel in a Davis Cup quarter-final tie in July 2009, on indoor hard courts at the Nokia Arena in Tel Avivmarker. Russia had won the Davis Cup in both 2002 and 2006, and was the top-ranked country in Davis Cup standings. The Israeli team beat the Russian team in each of their first three matches, thereby winning the tie. Harel Levy (world # 210) first beat Andreev (world # 24). Dudi Sela (# 33) followed by beating Youzhny 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5. "This is a bit of a surprise," Youzhny remarked. He said he was very disappointed, and added: "I began very well, but after I took the first set, my luck fell away." The next day Israelis Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich beat Safin and doubles specialist Kunitsyn. With the tie clinched for Israel, the reverse singles rubbers were "dead", and instead of best-of-five matches, best-of-three sets were played, with the outcomes of little to no importance. Israel wrapped up a 4-1 victory over Russia, splitting the final matches.

He made the finals at the Japan Open in Tokyo, after beating Lleyton Hewitt for the first time in a grueling 6–2 5–7 7–5 win. In the final, he faced no.2 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga but was ousted 3–6 3–6. He then clinched his first title in 2009 at the 2009 Kremlin Cup where he defeated Janko Tipsarevic 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4. After the back-to-back tournaments, Youzhny retired in the second round at St. Petersburg. Youzhny then played at Valencia Open. He defeated both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon to advance to the semifinals where he beat second seed compatriot Nikolay Davydenko. He lost to Andy Murray in the final 6-3, 6-2. After his performance in Valencia, Youzhny is assured of breaking back into the top 20.

Career finals

Singles: 12 (5-7)

Wins (5)
Legend)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup /

ATP World Tour Finals (0)
ATP Masters Series /
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0)
ATP International Series Gold /
ATP World Tour 500 Series (1)
ATP International Series /
ATP World Tour 250 Series (4)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 15 July 2002 Stuttgart, Germanymarker Clay Guillermo Cañas 6–3, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
2. 25 October 2004 St. Petersburg, Russiamarker Carpet (i) Karol Beck 6–2, 6–2
3. 19 February 2007 Rotterdam, Netherlandsmarker Hard (i) Ivan Ljubičić 6–2, 6–4
4. 6 January 2008 Chennai, Indiamarker Hard Rafael Nadal 6–0, 6–1
5. 25 October 2009 Moscow, Russia Hard (i) Janko Tipsarević 6–7(5), 6–0, 6–4


Runner-ups (7)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0)
ATP World Tour 500 (3)
ATP Tour (4)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 28 October 2002 St. Petersburg, Russiamarker Hard (i) Sébastien Grosjean 7–5, 6–4
2. 20 Sept. 2004 Beijing, Chinamarker Hard Marat Safin 7–6(4), 7–5
3. 3 March 2007 Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker Hard Roger Federer 6–4, 6–3
4. 6 May 2007 Munichmarker, Germanymarker Clay Philipp Kohlschreiber 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
5. 10 May 2009 Munich, Germany Clay Tomáš Berdych 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(5)
6. 11 October 2009 Tokyo, Japanmarker Hard Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6–3, 6–3
7. 8 November 2009 Valencia, Spainmarker Hard (i) Andy Murray 6–3, 6–2


Doubles: 9 (6-3)

Wins (6)
No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score
1. 17 October 2005 Moscow, Russiamarker Carpet (I) Max Mirnyi Igor Andreev
Nikolay Davydenko
6–1, 6–1
2. 7 January 2007 Doha, Qatarmarker Hard Nenad Zimonjić Martin Damm
Leander Paes
6–1, 7–6(3)
3. 6 May 2007 Munichmarker, Germanymarker Clay Philipp Kohlschreiber Jan Hájek
Jaroslav Levinský
6–1, 6–4
4. 15 June 2008 Hallemarker, Germany Grass Mischa Zverev Lukáš Dlouhý
Leander Paes
3–6, 6–4, [10–3]
5. 5 October 2008 Tokyo, Japanmarker Hard Mischa Zverev Lukáš Dlouhý
Leander Paes
6–3, 6–4
6. 14 June 2009 London , U.K.marker Grass Wesley Moodie Marcelo Melo
André Sá
6–4, 4–6, [10–6]


Singles performance timeline

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only after a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. Davis Cup matches are included in the statistics. This table is current through the 2009 Cincinnati Masters.

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Career SR Career Win-Loss
Australian Openmarker A A 3R 3R 4R 1R 2R 1R 3R QF 1R 0 / 9 14–9
French Openmarker A LQ 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 2R 4R 3R 2R 0 / 9 11–9
Wimbledonmarker A A 4R 4R 2R 1R 4R 3R 4R 4R 1R 0 / 9 18–9
U.S.marker Openmarker A A 3R A 1R 3R 3R SF 2R A 2R 0 / 7 13–7
Grand Slam SR 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 34 N/A
Grand Slam Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 7–4 5–3 5–4 4–4 7–4 8–4 9–4 9–3 2–4 N/A 56–34
Tennis Masters Cup A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Indian Wells Mastersmarker A A A LQ 1R 4R 2R 1R 2R 3R 1R 0 / 7 4–7
Miami Mastersmarker A A A A 2R 1R 2R 1R 3R 4R 2R 0 / 6 4–7
Monte Carlo Mastersmarker A A 3R A 1R A A 1R 2R 2R LQ 0 / 5 3–5
Rome Mastersmarker A A LQ A 1R 1R 1R 2R 3R A 2R 0 / 6 4–6
Madrid Masters A A LQ 3R 1R 1R 1R A 2R 1R A 0 / 6 2–6
Canada Masters A A A A 1R 2R 1R 2R 3R 2R 3R 0 / 7 7–7
Cincinnati Masters A A A A 3R 2R QF 2R 2R 1R 2R 0 / 7 8–7
Shanghai Masters Not Masters Series A 0 / 0 0–0
Paris Masters A A LQ A 1R QF A A QF 1R A 0 / 4 5–4
Hamburg Mastersmarker A A A 1R 3R QF 2R 1R 1R 1R NM1 0 / 7 6–7
Tournaments played 1 8 18 23 26 27 21 22 20 23 25 N/A 174
Finals reached 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 3 1 2 N/A 9
Tournaments Won 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 N/A 4
Year End Ranking 290 113 58 32 43 16 43 24 19 33 N/A N/A


A = did not participate in the tournament.

LQ = lost in the qualifying draw.

SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

References

  1. "Israel drops Russia 2-0 in Davis Cup," Russia Today, 10 July 2009, accessed 11 July 2009
  2. "USA, Russia on brink of shock elimination," ABC, 11 July 2009, accessed 11 July 2009
  3. "Israel takes surprise lead over Russia in Davis Cup quarters," Haaretz, 10 July 2009, accessed 11 July 2009
  4. "Netanyahu: Davis Cup team has filled nation with pride," The Jerusalem Post, 11 July 2009, accessed 11 July 2009
  5. Dimon, Ricky, "Singles rubbers dead as Israel finishes off Russia," Tennis Talk, 11 July 2009, accessed 11 July 2009
  6. "Israel completes Davis Cup win over Russia," Miami Herald, 12 July 2009/accessed 12 July 2009


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