Mikhail Youzhny was defeated in the first round of Dubai by Evgeny Donskoy, but he didn't hold it against him.
Youzhny was in Donskoy's box to watch his fellow Russian defeat Roger Federer in the second round. The two players share a coach, Boris Sobkin, who is not in Dubai this week.
"It's my friend who is helping me, Mikhail Youzhny," said Donskoy, speaking to reporters following his second-round win.
The 26-year-old said Youzhny, who reached the Top 10 in 2008, spotted Donskoy’s potential when he was below No. 200 in the rankings. (He’s currently No. 116.)
"He was saying to his coach, ‘I want to help this guy,’" said Donskoy, who added that Youzhny is not an official coach of his. "He's just a nice person who is trying to do something for me. He's just saying to me, ‘If you need any help, just let me know.’ That's it."
Donskoy, who is returning from injury, qualified for Dubai and rated the upset of Federer the best win of his career.