Mikhail Youzhny born June 25, 1982 in Moscow, USSR (now Russia) is a professional tennis player from Russia. Youzhny is noted for his consistency and all court play style.
Youzhny plays with a single-handed backhand, which many believe to be his best shot. From both sides, Youzhny hits the ball on the rise to achieve a flatter flight trajectory and to get the ball to the opponent's side quicker. His service is arguably the weakest component of his game as it lacks power and stability. He has a good court sense and often makes use of dropshots to mix up the rallies. Youzhny is often able to draw his energy from the engaged crowd to produce a series of risky winners, especially when he is defending matchpoints.
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 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 come back and win from a 0-2 set deficit in the live fifth rubber of the Davis Cup Final .
During 2004, he won a career-high 42 matches, finishing 2004 in the top 20.
One of his best tournaments came at the 2006 U.S. Open where he defeated Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 and defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-1 in the quarterfinal, losing in the semifinals to Andy Roddick 6-7(5) 6-0 7-6(3) 6-3. In doubles, Youzhny partnered Leos Friedl and defeated the #1 team in the world Bob and Mike Bryan in the Round of 16, losing to Martin Damm and Leander Paes in the quarterfinal.
Youzhny began the year as the second highest ranked Russian male tennis player behind Nikolay Davydenko.
At the start of the year he lost in the Australian Open to eventual champion Roger Federer, made the semifinals of Zagreb, and won his third career ATP title in Rotterdam. Later in March Mikhail reached the final of Dubai Championship after defeating second-seeded Rafael Nadal in quarterfinal, only to fall to top-seeded Roger Federer 6-4, 6-3. After a slump in the next few weeks, he made a strong return to form at Munich, where he reached the final, losing to first-time finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber 2-6 6-3 6-4/ Youhzny once again faced Federer, this time in the 2007 French Open Fourth Round, only to succumb 6-7, 4-6, 4-6. The run to the fourth round finally pushed him past #15 which he had achieved in 2005, to #14 in the world. Despite not playing the week before Wimbledon, he benefited from an early loss from Gasquet's title defense at Nottingham, rising to #13 in the world. In the 2007 Wimbledon Championships Youzhny lost to Rafael Nadal after winning the first and second set. In Gstaad, a clay event, as the #2 seed and 14th-ranked, he lost in round 1 to Stefan Koubek 6-4, 6-3. He made the 3rd round of the Canadian Masters event, losing to Nikolay Davydenko - afterwards, he made his top 10 debut at #10.
Youzhny's first tournament of 2008 was Chennai in India. He reached the final, where he demolished World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the top seed, 6–0, 6–1 in under an hour. In the Australian Open Youzhny, for the first time in his career, beat Nikolay Davydenko. He fell in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
On April 1, during a tiebreak with Nicolas Almagro, Youzhny 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 3 times, drawing blood. Despite this—and after receiving medical attention—he won the next seven points, taking the tiebreaker and also the match.