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Mikhail Youzhny's Biography

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Mikhail Youzhny was born on 25 June 1982 in Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Youzhny started playing tennis when he was just six, and his brother, Andrei, also played at a high level.

Since the age of 11, Youzhny has been coached by Boris Sopkin, who is a retired professor of mathematics at Moscow Technical University.

When he was 13, Mikhail Youzhny was a ballboy in the Russia v. U.S.A Davis Cup final in Moscow. Little did he realise that just seven years later he himself would be responsible for one of the most notable performances in Davis Cup history.

He was two sets down to France's Paul-Henri Mathieu when he struck back to turn the tables and thereby ensure Russia were Davis Cup champions.

Mikhail Youzhny was the first player to come from two sets behind in a fifth and decisive match in a Davis Cup final. The marathon match against Mathieu took roughly four-and-a-half hours, and resulted in a 3-2 victory for Russia over France.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who had failed to win a single point for Russia, said: "I'm fully satisfied with what I have done prior to and during the final and I was really happy for Mikhail [Youzhny]."

Youzhny turned professional in 1999. A year later he was the second youngest player (after Andy Roddick) in the top 200 of the ATP Champions Race.

2002, the year of Mikhail Youzhny's great Davis Cup victory, was also when he gained his first ATP title - at Stuttgart. In 2004 Mikhail Youzhny also won the title at St. Petersburg.

Since then Mikhail Youzhny struggled to live up to his undoubted potential but that all changed with the US Open in 2006, when Youzhny played superbly to defeat amongst others Rafael Nadal and to reach the semi-finals before going out to Andy Roddick.

Youzhny's progress continued and, in February 2007, he beat Ivan Ljubicic 6-2 6-4 to win the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam.

It was Mikhail Youzhny's first title since winning in St Petersburg in 2004 and to do it he had to defeat four seeded players: Tomas Berdych (4), David Ferrer (6), Novak Djokovic (5) as well as third seed Ljubicic.

In January 2008, Mihail Youzhny beat Rafael Nadal 6-0 6-1 in the final of the Chennai Open to take his fourth title.

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