Injured Youzhny misses Davis final
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) -- Russia's Davis Cup hopes have suffered a serious blow with Mikhail Youzhny ruled out of next month's final against Argentina due to an ankle injury.
Youzhny broke a bone in his right ankle in a doubles match at the St Petersburg Open on Wednesday, forcing the world number 23 to forfeit his second-round singles tie with Swede Thomas Johansson.
The Russian was seen on crutches at the St Petersburg airport leaving for Moscow on Thursday morning.
"I have just spoken with Mikhail and it is now been confirmed that he has broken a bone," said Youzhny's brother Andrei.
The injury means Youzhny will miss the Davis Cup final being held from December 1-3 at Moscow's Olympic Sports Complex.
With former top 20 player Igor Andreev, who won last year's Kremlin Cup at the arena hosting the Davis Cup final, still recovering from knee surgery, Russia face an obvious shortage of manpower against the tough South Americans.
Youzhny was hailed as a national hero after clinching Russia's first Davis Cup title in 2002 when he came from two sets down to beat France's Paul-Henri Mathieu in the decisive fifth rubber in the Paris final.
World number six Nikolay Davydenko also suffered a foot injury at the $1 million tournament in St Petersburg on Wednesday and was forced to retire from his second-round match against South Africa's Wesley Moodie.
Davydenko's injury seems less serious than Youzny's and he was optimistic he would play at next week's Paris Masters.
Russia's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev must now hope former world number one Marat Safin, who has struggled with various injuries for much of the past two years, and Davydenko stay injury free until the showdown with Argentina.