Mikhail Youzhny confirms participation for ATP event

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Chennai, Nov 1 (UNI) Russia's Mikhail Youzhny has confirmed his participation in the 416,000-dollar ATP Chennai Open, the 13th edition of which would be held here from December 31 this year to January 6, 2008.

Tournament Director Fernando Soler said here today that ''Youzhny has been a consistent player on the ATP circuit. Youzhny is often able to draw his energy from the engaged crowd to produce a series of risky winners, especially when he is defending match points.

I am sure given the support and enthusiasm of Chennai fans, Youzhny will be a treat to watch at the Chennai Open. '' Event promoters IMG's Managing Director Balu Nayar said ''after Nadal, having yet another top ranked player confirm his participation augurs well for Chennai Open 2008''.

''Keen tennis enthusiasts would note that Youzhny has an interesting rivalry going on with Rafael Nadal and I am sure fans of Chennai will get to see that during this tournament.'' Chennai fans will witness some interesting moments during Youzhny's matches. Mikhail Youzhny, who ranked 18th in the world gives military style salute to the spectators after each win. He does it by holding tennis racquet above his head with his left hand and saluting with his right hand.

The racquet imitates a hat since according to Russian military tradition one must wear a hat to give a proper salute.

The 25-year-old Russian 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.

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 Gstaad, a clay event, as the second seed and 14th-ranked, he lost in first round to Stefan Koubek 6-4 6-3.

He made the 3rd round of the Canadian Masters event, losing to Nikolay Davydenko.

UNI

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