Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indifference St.
Youzhny calls on familiar inspiration
Richard Jago in Doha
Friday January 3, 2003
Mikhail Youzhny was helped to complete his history-making win in last month's Davis Cup by what his brother Andrei calls a "kind of a miracle," which he believes will help him build on the achievement. On the evidence of the fighting performance which carried the new star into the semi-final of the Qatar Mobil Open yesterday, he may be right.
Their father died shortly before the final in Paris in which the elder brother offered inspiration by pointing skywards when Youzhny was in danger of losing. "I dreamt it would be a day when the things our father wanted would come true," said Andrei. "I had told Mikhail that before the match; and that's what I was reminding him. It seemed to help and it may help him again."
Youzhny went on to become the first player ever to come back from two sets down in a Davis Cup final decider; now he has beaten the giant-killer Fernando Vicente 7-6, 6-3.
Four days ago Youzhny struggled through greater adversity against another Spaniard, David Sanchez, and throughout this week Andrei, officially Mikhail's sparring partner, has appeared as some kind of spiritual motivator. Youzhny today plays Jan-Michael Gambill, who beat the top-seeded Roger Federer 6-4, 7-5.
Younes El Aynaoui, the defending champion from Morocco, received a heated complaint about crowd behaviour from Fabrice Santoro after their quarter-final. "It was a shame he said that," said El Aynaoui who came from a set down to beat Santoro 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. "As an Arab player this is one of the few places in the world where I get such support. Most people understand that."
I STILL WISH IT WAS YOUZHNY WHO WON
Marat: Last question: what do you think of me? Dinara: You are my god! When you play, I love
to see you. When you lose, I am even sadder than when it is me. When you are wounded, I suffer.
When you speak to me, I drink your words. When you come to see me playing, I am with the angels.