Mikhail Youzhny

Mikhail Youzhny
Mikhail Youzhny
Михаил Южный
Country  Russia
Residence Moscow, Russia
Born June 25, 1982 (1982-06-25) (age 29)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro 1999
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career prize money $8,748,844
Career record 366–266
Career titles 7
Highest ranking No. 8 (28 January 2008)
Current ranking No. 35 (14 November 2011)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open QF (2008)
French Open QF (2010)
Wimbledon 4R (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011)
US Open SF (2006, 2010)
Career record 109–126
Career titles 8
Highest ranking No. 43 (11 September 2006)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)
French Open 3R (2006)
Wimbledon 1R (2004, 2006)
US Open QF (2006)
Last updated on: 11 April 2011.

Mikhail Mikhailovich Youzhny (Михаил Михайлович Южный [mixaˈil ˈjuʒnɨj] ( listen); born 25 June 1982, in Moscow, USSR (now Russia), is a professional Russian tennis player, noted for his consistency and all-court play style. He has been coached by Boris Sobkin for 17 years.

The highest singles world ranking of his career was number eight, achieved 28 January 2008 and again on 18 October 2010.


Early life

Mikhail began playing tennis at six with his older brother, Andrei, a pro futures player in 1998–2000. At 13, he was a ballboy for the Russia – U.S. Davis Cup matches.[1]

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.[2] The racquet imitates a hat, since according to Russian military tradition one must wear a hat to give proper salute.[3]

Youzhny represents CSKA Moscow, and is also an avid supporter of FC CSKA.

Mikhail wears adidas clothing and Barricade 6.0 shoes and uses a Head Youtek IG Extreme Pro racquet.


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


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

In 2001, he reached the third round of the Australian Open, made his first ATP tour semifinal at Copenhagen, 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.[4]

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(5) 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.


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 Dubai, 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. At Wimbledon, he reached the Fourth Round, where, despite holding a two-set lead, eventually lost to Rafael Nadal 6–4 6–3 1–6 2–6 2–6. 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.


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 Nicolás 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.[citation needed] He then played with Russia in the ARAG World Tennis Team Cup and reached the final, before losing to Sweden.

After Wimbledon—where he lost in the fourth round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal—Youzhny lost three matches in a row, suffering first-round losses at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinnati, Ohio), 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.


Youzhny did not 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 Rotterdam and the Marseille Open, defeating David Ferrer and Tomáš Berdych on his way.

In the Davis Cup first round tie against Romania, he won his singles match against Victor Hănescu in straight sets 6–4 6–4 6–2. Russia 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 Aviv. Russia had won the Davis Cup in both 2002 and 2006, and was the top-ranked country in Davis Cup standings.[5] 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.[6] He said he was very disappointed, and added: "I began very well, but after I took the first set, my luck fell away."[7] The next day Israelis Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich beat Safin and doubles specialist Kunitsyn.[8] 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.[9] Israel wrapped up a 4–1 victory over Russia, splitting the final matches.[10]

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 Tipsarević 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.


The Australian Open was the tournament that started off Mikhail's 2010 season. In the first round, he beat Richard Gasquet 6–7(9), 4–6, 7–6(2), 7–6(4), 6–4 after being down 2 sets to 0. He beat Jan Hájek 6–2, 6–1, 6–1 in the second round. However, he subsequently retired from the tournament before beginning the next round, as a result of a wrist injury.[11]

After the recovery, he made the final at the 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, worth 500 ATP points. Notably, he stunned top-seeded Novak Djokovic 7–6(5), 7–6(6) in the semifinal. In the final, he trailed behind Robin Söderling 4–6, 0–2 before retiring, due to a right hamstring injury. His good performance here lifted his ranking to #15.

In his next appearance, he reached his second successive final at the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships, worth 500 ATP points. En route to the final, he beat Lukáš Lacko, Björn Phau, Janko Tipsarević, and Jürgen Melzer. In the final, he lost to No.2 seed Novak Djokovic (the defending champion) 5–7, 7–5, 3–6. It was Youzhny's fourth consecutive final loss in an ATP World Tour 500 event.

On May 9, Youzhny defeated Marin Čilić 6–3, 4–6, 6–4 to win his first BMW Open in Munich, Germany. It was his third trip to the final at this event having previously lost to Tomáš Berdych in 2009 and Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2007.

As the 11th seed at the 2010 French Open, Mikhail beat injured 8th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round after he retired during the match and reached his first ever Paris quarter-final.

After a good showing at the U.S. Open, Youzhny lost to number one seed Rafael Nadal 2–6, 3–6, 4–6 in the semifinals. With this strong performance, he reentered the top 10 for the first time since 2008.

During his first tournament since the US Open, Youzhny defeated Andrey Golubev 6–7(2), 6–2, 7–6(3) to win his second title of the year at the 2010 Malaysian Open. Following this result, his ranking rose to #8.

Forced to withdraw due to a viral infection, Youzhny was unable to defend his title in Moscow. He returned the following week as the top seed in St. Petersburg and reached his fifth singles final of the year, falling to Mikhail Kukushkin 3–6, 6–7(2).

Youzhny's season ended when he was forced to retire with a back injury against Ernests Gulbis at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. For the first time in his career, he finished the year in the top 10 and as the top-ranked Russian player.


Youzhny's first tournament in 2011 was the Australian Open where he reached the third round, losing to Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic 4–6, 5–7, 6–4, 4–6.

He made his next appearance at the 2011 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Seeded sixth, Youzhny reached the quarterfinals with straight-set wins over Marcel Granollers and Thiemo de Bakker before falling to top seed Robin Söderling 4–6, 6–7(5).

The following week, Youzhny advanced past the quarterfinals in Marseille for the first time in his career at the 2011 Open 13. He defeated Gilles Simon 3–6, 6–3, 6–3 in the round of 16 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6–4, 2–6, 6–4 in the quarterfinals to reach his first ATP World Tour semifinal of the season. In the semifinals, Marin Čilić saved one matchpoint to beat Youzhny 6–2, 1–6, 7–5.

Youzhny lost to Gilles Simon for the first time in the opening round of the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships. In doubles, he and Sergiy Stakhovsky went on to defeat Feliciano Lopez and Jeremy Chardy in the final to win their second title as a team and Youzhny's eighth career doubles title.

After skipping Indian Wells due to a back injury, Youzhny made his next appearance at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. He reached the third round, falling to Olivier Rochus 6–1, 3–6, 3–6.

In the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, he reached the 4th round, before losing 3 sets to 1 to Roger Federer.

Personal life

His wife, Yulia, gave birth to a boy, Maxim, in December 2009.[12]

Career statistics

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 2011 BNP Paribas Masters.

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 3R 3R 4R 1R 2R 1R 3R QF 1R 3R 3R 18–11
French Open A Q1 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 2R 4R 3R 2R QF 3R 17–11
Wimbledon A A 4R 4R 2R 1R 4R 3R 4R 4R 1R 2R 4R 22–11
US Open A A 3R A 1R 3R 3R SF 2R A 2R SF 1R 18–9
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 7–4 5–3 5–4 4–4 7–4 8–4 9–4 9–3 2–4 12–3 7–4 75–42
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells Masters A A A Q1 1R 4R 2R 1R 2R 3R 1R A A 4–7
Miami Masters A A A A 2R 1R 2R 1R 3R 4R 2R QF 3R 8–9
Monte Carlo Masters A A 3R A 1R A A 1R 2R 2R Q2 2R 1R 3–7
Rome Masters A A Q2 A 1R 1R 1R 2R 3R A 2R 1R 1R 4–8
Madrid Masters (Stuttgart) A A Q2 3R 1R 1R 1R A 2R 1R A 2R 1R 3–8
Canada Masters A A A A 1R 2R 1R 2R 3R 2R 3R 2R 1R 8–9
Cincinnati Masters A A A A 3R 2R QF 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 8–9
Shanghai Masters Not Masters Series A 2R 1R 0–2
Paris Masters A A Q1 A 1R QF A A QF 1R A 2R 1R 5–6
Hamburg Masters A A A 1R 3R QF 2R 1R 1R 1R NMS 6–7
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 2–1 2–2 4–9 11–8 4–7 3–7 10–9 4–8 5–5 5–8 1–8 51–72
Career Statistics
Tournaments played 1 8 18 23 26 27 21 22 20 23 25 20 23 257
Titles–Finals 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–2 0–0 1–2 0–0 0–0 1–3 1–1 1–4 2–5 0–0 7–17
Year-End Ranking 290 113 58 32 43 16 43 24 19 33 19 10 35


External links

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  • Mikhail Youzhny career statistics — Contents 1 ATP Career finals 1.1 Singles: 17 (7–10) 1.2 Doubles: 11 (8–3) 2 ATP Tour career earnings …   Wikipedia

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  • Mathieu - Youzhny (2002) — Le 1er décembre 2002 au Palais omnisports de Paris Bercy, la finale de la Coupe Davis oppose l équipe de France à celle de la Russie. Le 5e match, décisif, oppose Paul Henri Mathieu à Mikhail Youzhny, tous deux 20 ans. Après 1 H 25 de jeu,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mathieu - youzhny (2002) — Le 1er décembre 2002 au Palais omnisports de Paris Bercy, la finale de la Coupe Davis oppose l équipe de France à celle de la Russie. Le 5e match, décisif, oppose Paul Henri Mathieu à Mikhail Youzhny, tous deux 20 ans. Après 1 H 25 de jeu,… …   Wikipédia en Français