Mikhail Youzhny’s career ended minutes ago, with a hard-fought second round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in his home tournament of St. Petersburg. The Russian was playing to achieve his 500th ATP tour win, but sadly he’ll retire just one win short of that landmark.
Despite not managing to get the 500th win in his last tournament, Youzhny still had a great career with a lot to be very proud of. 101 of those 499 wins were obtained at Grand Slam level, where “The Colonel reached two semifinals, at the US Open in 2006 and 2010 (losing to Roddick and Nadal), and the quarter finals at least once at every Slam. At the Masters 1000 level, Youzhny didn’t find much success, having never reached a semifinal and only six quarterfinals with an overall record of 79-110; however, he did find plenty of success in lower level tour level events, amassing 10 career titles–eight ATP 250, two ATP 500–and 11 runner-ups. He won titles on clay, grass and hard courts (indoors and outdoors), which proves his versatility as a player.
Perhaps the biggest regret, if you can call it that, of Youzhny’s career is never having beaten Roger Federer, to whom he lost on 17 occasions. He was close to finally pulling it out last year at the US Open, but eventually lost in five sets. He once jokingly said he’d not retire until he did manage to beat the Swiss, but while he hasn’t achieve that he still has plenty of great wins to cherish. Youzhny amassed 31 wins over top 10 players during his career, including a famous win over Nadal at a Slam back in the 2006 US Open.
Youzhny also won the Davis Cup twice, winning the fifth and deciding rubber himself back in 2002, from 2-0 down in sets, in what he most likely regards as the best and most glorious moment of his career.
Aside from all these great achievements, Youzhny will also be remembered for his style of play, which most tennis fans have found very pleasing over the years, with his beautiful one handed backhand, and for some famous emotional meltdowns on court during the years. He’ll most definitely be missed on the tour.
Embed from Getty Images