Re: Mikhail Youzhny: Articles & Interviews
Youzhny into Dubai final after beating Soderling
posted Friday Mar 02, 2007 01:03pm by Andre Jones
Mikhael Youzhny continued his impressive run here at the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open with a commanding 7-5 6-2 victory over Robin Soderling.
Following on from the highly charged win over Rafael Nadal the previous night, Youzhny gained the upper hand with a decisive break of the Soderling serve to go 6-5 ahaead in the opening set. Serving beautifully to go 40-0 up, Youzhny took the set on his first set point when Soderling went long on his forehand.
The second set saw the enigmatic Russian get an early break to go ahead 2-0, but despite missing chances for the double break in the next game, broke again in the seventh game with a vicious forehand crosscourt drive which the Swede at full stretch could not control.
Youzhny, with the full support of the Russian supporters surged ahead to double match point in the next game;
winning the contest with a cracking backhand crosscourt drive which he struck for a clean winner.
"I was tired after the match with Rafa, and today we played first match which for me was too early", Youzhny said. "Anyway, I enjoy to play here and a lot of Russians here give me power. Maybe I sleep a little bit at the beginning of the match, but after I wake up."
Youzhny felt that Soderling's form dropped off after the first set.
"First game of the second set, he miss a lot. He has three or four mistakes; I didn't do nothing, no unbelievable winners. After I serve very good and I don't have any problems which is why I can play very easy."
Youzhny believes that he will probably play Roger Federer in the final, although Tommy Haas should not be discounted because like him he is in a rich vein of form.
"Roger is favourite, but Haas is in good shape now, he won Memphis plus three matches here. Of course I'm thinking like everybody that Roger is going to win. But you never know in tennis and maybe today something will happen. I don't want to think about this, actually I don't care."
Would Youzhny embellish his military salutes wearing the full Russian military uniform and holding a Kalashnikov if he wins the tournament?
"If you bring a kalashnikov for me on court maybe I will use it instead of racquet and shoot into the sky when I do my salutes!", Youzhny joked.
A disappointed Soderling was at a loss to think of a way to have beaten Youzhny.
"Today I didn't feel like I could have done anything different", Soderling said. "Of course I could have done everything a little bit better. I didn't play well today, but he played really good. If I had played my best match who knows if it would have been enough anyway. But he was too good today; from the end of the first set and throughout the second set, he was too good."