My Masters 1000: Mikhail Youzhny
Mikhail Youzhny made a memorable ATP World Tour Masters 1000 debut in 2001 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where he reached the Round of 16 as a teenager. Now 35, the former World No. 8 continues to compete at the elite level, with more than 100 Masters 1000 tournament appearances to his name.
One of his best runs came at the Western & Southern Open in 2005, when he defeated future Top 10 players Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils before testing World No. 5 Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals. He reflects on that match and more.
You’ve reached six quarter-finals at this level. Do you have a special Masters 1000 memory?
When I reach a semi-final, then I’ll let you know. (laughs)
Is there a match that stands out?
Yeah, it was 2005 against Andy Roddick in Cincinnati. It was an evening session, I think. It was a pretty tough match. He beat me in three sets. In Hamburg [in the 2004 quarter-finals], I played against Ivan Ljubicic in the Masters. That was also a long time ago.
What is the greatest match you’ve seen at a Masters 1000 tournament?
So many matches. In that past few years I’ve started to watch more matches. I cannot say just one because there were so many great ones like Djokovic/Murray, Federer/Nadal. There’s so many great matches it’s really tough to pick one.
What makes the Masters 1000s special?
It’s one of the biggest tournaments by the ATP, and one of the greatest tournaments by the ATP, and you see how many [people] come to watch… From the first day of the qualies, a lot of crowds, a lot of press is here. People like the tennis. [Fans] are waiting for the tournament, players are waiting for the tournament. This is what’s so special about Masters 1000 tournaments... You can feel it’s a really great tournament, they build new stadiums, they build new facilities, everybody is happy. And every year more and more people come to the events. This is the atmosphere of a Masters 1000.
What is your favourite Masters 1000 tournament & why?
That’s a tough question because now many Masters 1000 tournaments have improved. One of them is Indian Wells. I remember how it was a long time ago and now it’s a great tournament, maybe one of the best. I also like Shanghai as well, their organisation. I think almost all the 1000s are pretty good, I can’t say just one of them.