Mikhail Youzhny calls it a career after St. Petersburg exit

by: Tennis.com | September 20, 2018

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Two-time Grand Slam semifinalist and former world No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny played the last match of his career at the St. Petersburg Open on Thursday, falling to Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3.

The Russian, currently ranked No. 110 in the world, had beaten No. 78-ranked Mirza Basic in his first-round match on Wednesday night, 7-6 (6), 6-4, for the 499th ATP tour-level win of his career.

He fell just short of a 500th win, though, falling to No. 26 Bautista Agut after two hours and 30 minutes.

Since playing his first events in 1998, Youzhny has had an incredible 20-year career, highlighted by 10 career ATP tour titles, reaching a career-high of No. 8 on January 28, 2008, and a slew of deep runs at Grand Slams, most notably the semifinals at the 2006 US Open (falling to Andy Roddick) and the 2010 US Open (falling to Rafael Nadal). He reached another four Grand Slam quarterfinals, too.

The Russian also had a number of huge wins over the years, beating Top 5 players eight times in his career. His four biggest career wins came against world No. 2s—Rafael Nadal three times (at the US Open in 2006, Dubai in 2007 and Chennai in 2008) and Novak Djokovic once (at Rotterdam in 2010).

“I can say I had a great career,” Youzhny told ATPWorldTour.com from St. Petersburg earlier this week. “I never thought I could play until 2018 and that I can play at a high level. I was one of the youngest guys from my age that went into the Top 100 and from all the times, I was at a high level. All the time I can say I was a professional, that’s why I maybe stayed later in the tennis career.”

But after a tough 2018 campaign, Youzhny’s decided to call it a career.

“I didn’t have good results, I didn’t have too many wins, but I still practiced, I still felt I can play, I can maybe have good results,” Youzhny added. “But after Roland Garros, after Antalya, after Wimbledon, it was too many close matches for me that I lost, five sets, four sets, three sets with a close tie-break.

“Even during the matches I could not play consistently really good and for me it was a little tough, too much up and down and it was tough for me to recover, and for me I need to recover to be 100% ready for the next match. This is one side. The second side, I think in my head about my kids, family, everything. I don’t want my kids now to live my life. I think now it’s time for me to live my kids’ life.”

Youzhny finishes his career with a 499-416 win-loss record and over $14 million in prize money.

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