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Mikhail Youzhny reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final in 2004 at the Rolex Paris Masters.

My Masters 1000: Mikhail Youzhny

Russian describes special atmosphere of Masters 1000 tournaments

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. 

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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.