Michael Russell [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Michael Russell

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Grinder
08-20-2006, 07:23 PM
Surprisingly there isn't a thread for Big Russ, he's the last American to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros, he did so in 2000 before losing a 2 sets to love lead against the eventual champion, Gustavo Kuerten. Russ has since had many injury problems and is now looking like he's returning to form with a win in Bronx Challenger this past week. He had many impressive wins this year including wins 6-0 6-2 thrashings of Mardy Fish and Paul Capdville.

Good luck to Russ at USO qualifying and congrats on winning Bronx Challenger. :cool:

Action Jackson
08-20-2006, 07:31 PM
Hell yeah congratulations to Mike for winning the Bronx Challenger, he has a lot of bad luck injury wise missing 2-3 years on tour.

He won the Orlando Challenger last year as a qualifuer

Yes, as Grinder said he made the 4th round at RG and held match points against Guga and he did it as a qualifier as well.

http://img352.imageshack.us/img352/3165/mexwav4ys.gif to Russ and hope he can qualify for the US Open.

jole
08-20-2006, 07:34 PM
He is a good guy and I'm glad I got to meet him in Atlanta this year.

The thrashing he gave to Fish was unreal. :D

Nice he did the same to Capdeville.

Action Jackson
08-20-2006, 07:43 PM
I am glad you got to meet him Jole and he is a quality and down to earth bloke, I just hope all the injuries are behind him and that is a great score in the final and I bet he must have taken him coast to coast.

I look forward to see where he is ranked this week.

Action Jackson
08-20-2006, 09:57 PM
Grinder, it was 2001 the Russell RG showing against Guga. Here is some footage, thanks to youtube of this match.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5TjMfC2R28

Action Jackson
08-21-2006, 01:06 PM
He has moved up 34 places to 159 after his tournament win, lets get into the top 150 next.

Action Jackson
08-23-2006, 08:51 AM
Russ is playing Capdeville again in the 1st round of qualies and a 6-0 6-2 would be good again.

jole
08-23-2006, 07:34 PM
Russ is playing Capdeville again in the 1st round of qualies and a 6-0 6-2 would be good again.

6-3 6-2.

Not too shabby. :)

Action Jackson
08-23-2006, 07:36 PM
Iron Mike gave Capdeville another beatdown, too bad he can't play him every week.

He now plays the winner of Eitzinger and de Heart.

jole
08-23-2006, 10:03 PM
Eitzinger it is.

I saw Rainer play last year and he really is nothing special.

cobalt60
08-24-2006, 01:21 AM
Thanks guys for starting this thread. He came into my radar this year with his recent thrashing of Capdeville and now I see he has done that again. I have taken the liberty of posting his bio off the ATP site for everyone who is reading and interested. Sounds like a funny guy. :yeah:

ATP QUOTED:
"Full name is Michael Craig Russell...Nicknames include "Mighty Mouse," "Spanky" and "Iron Mike"...Began playing tennis at age five with his father, George, a member of Univ. of Michigan's Big 10 Conference championship team in 1965, who is manager of ATP Tennis Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where his son practices...Mother, Carole, is an English teacher and tennis coach at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Fla....Older brother David, played collegiately at Princeton and he is attending Harvard Business School...Grew up in Michigan and graduated as valedictorian at Saddlebrook (Fla.) High School in spring 1995...Played one season (1996-97) and finished No. 7 in collegiate rankings at University of Miami before turning pro in summer of '97...One of wittiest players on tour...When asked about his biggest career pay day ($42,000) after reaching 4th RD at Roland Garros in 2001, he said, "It's great I don't have to go through the drive-thru at McDonald's anymore. Maybe I can have some filet mignon."...Another reporter asked if his life has changed after his result in Paris and he joked, "Well, I signed a $10 million contract," then added, "I get an extra bag of peanuts when I fly Southwest."...Considers clay his favorite surface."

Action Jackson
08-24-2006, 12:40 PM
Thanks guys for starting this thread. He came into my radar this year with his recent thrashing of Capdeville and now I see he has done that again. I have taken the liberty of posting his bio off the ATP site for everyone who is reading and interested. Sounds like a funny guy. :yeah:


Aww, we have our first Russell bandwagon jumper :p . There have been plenty of reasons why most people have missed him and that works quite well most of the time. Yes, he is a funny guy.

Action Jackson
08-24-2006, 12:41 PM
Eitzinger it is.

I saw Rainer play last year and he really is nothing special.

He has improved a bit, he is fast and will fight hard, but it's a winnable match for Mike and the fact that Eitzinger prefers clay as well should be in Russ's favour.

cobalt60
08-24-2006, 11:27 PM
Aww, we have our first Russell bandwagon jumper :p . There have been plenty of reasons why most people have missed him and that works quite well most of the time. Yes, he is a funny guy.
:woohoo: A first for me!!! ;)

Action Jackson
08-25-2006, 03:57 AM
Big Mike does it again and wins 6-4 6-3 over Eitzinger.

He now plays Aussie Peter Luczak for a spot in the main draw. There will be plenty of long rallies in this one and I'd love to be there as I like both guys, so in reality I can't lose either way with this result.

Grinder
08-25-2006, 04:00 AM
:woohoo:

cobalt60
08-26-2006, 12:38 AM
He made it in 3 sets and into the main draw :p :angel:
( PS: I need to quit posting once and for all. Or at least get some sleep :o )

Deboogle!.
08-26-2006, 01:01 AM
no Sue, he's into the main draw :) only 3 qualifying rounds :p

He drew Monfils in the MD

Grinder
08-26-2006, 01:18 AM
Great job on qualifying Mike, Monfils will be tough, but making the main draw was a victory in itselt. :yeah:

Action Jackson
08-26-2006, 07:11 AM
Wow, we are getting some visitors. I am very happy that Mike qualified, though disappointed it had to be at Luczak's expense.

With a qualifying 128 draw, you’d think there was a possibility of fairly even spread of players you like around the draw, but as common as 3 buses go in the opposite direction than the one you want to go and you stand around like a fool, of course they concentrated the ones I like within the same section and bad luick to Luczak.

Congrats to Mike after all the crap he has dealt with.

Sweet4Richard
08-26-2006, 08:35 PM
I didn't realize that there was a thread for Michael.:) I saw most of matches at the Bronx Challenger and every on at the US Open qualifying. He has a really good game and he continue to impress me. His father is so nice and would always come over to us at his matches since we were cheering Michael on. His match last night against Peter was so exciting. I can't believe he won. :woohoo: Hope he does well against Gael :)

Just some photos that I took of him from the challenger:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/53c51590.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/40068eff.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/5a7ba364.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/e9989b47.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/5b834012.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/b6e39151.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/f5d19a43.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/943d49ed.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Miss_Piggy3/Bronx%20Challenger%202006/7525cc70.jpg

Grinder
08-27-2006, 04:10 AM
Welcome Sweet4Richard, thanks a lot of the pictures. Always good to see new fans of Russ. Feel free to post here anytime. :wavey:

Action Jackson
08-27-2006, 05:46 AM
Great photos, these are truly appreciated and good to see his father came over and appreciated your support Sweet4Richard.

Action Jackson
08-27-2006, 10:28 AM
Thanks to Swiss Mister for this report of the Russell vs Luczak match.

Russell v Luczak

Happened to sit in front of John Fitzgerald who was wearing a 2001 Davis Cup Florianopolis shirt - way to live in the past, Fitzy...was weird hearing him yell out "Aggressive defence, Looch!" several times. Got there for second set, assumed Luczak would run away with it as he was playing well. He came in to net more than usual and served better than I had seen him before. However, Russell is a real fighter, didn't give up, saved match point in the second set tiebreak with a FH down the line winner. Afterwards he stopped to talk to a bunch of people, posed for pictures with an EMT, and mentioned he didn't know how he came back as Luczak had been untouchable in the first set.

cobalt60
08-27-2006, 03:57 PM
:yeah: to the pics and report!

jole
08-27-2006, 11:31 PM
Mike is so damn personable (even when he loses). If only more players were like him.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 05:39 AM
Russ lost the 1st set 6-2 but it went for 53 mins. It's tough against Monfils the guy is a panther and will run so many balls down and Russ made 13 unforced errors and didn't serve at a high enough percentage, but there were plenty of long rallies and some great defence from these guys.

Today is another day and Russ has to get the balance right between attacking and defending cause Monfils will get more shots back than usual, but hope he can turn it around and if not win make Gael work very hard for the win.

Action Jackson
09-01-2006, 06:43 AM
Russ lost in 4 sets to Monfils and he couldn't take advantage of the chances he had, but it's good to see him in a main draw of a Slam.

Now he is off to the Challengers again and hope he can continue his recent good form.

Sweet4Richard
09-02-2006, 12:11 AM
I hope so as well. He's been playing really great in this past month or so. He really could have won this match against Monfils and then who knows. Still, its a great result just reaching the 1st round so let's hope he can use this as a confidence builder for the rest of the year.

Truc
09-02-2006, 06:54 AM
I posted the video of the 1st round match in the Monfils forum:
http://www.menstennisforums.com/showpost.php?p=4064300&postcount=49
But it's not a TV recording, it's the recording of a stream, so the quality is not very good. It's OK for watching on your computer though if you want to take a look at the match.
I don't have the first set, it's just the 2nd part of the match on Day 3.

Action Jackson
09-02-2006, 06:59 AM
Merci Truc for that.

cobalt60
09-03-2006, 08:49 PM
Thanks very much! So can I assume MR is heading off to challenger land. I assume here in the states?

Action Jackson
09-08-2006, 04:45 AM
Yes, Sue he is playing in the Luddock Challenger.

Action Jackson
09-10-2006, 10:25 AM
Russ will be staying in the US playing Challengers and he is the #3 seed in the New Orleans event.

He plays Cecil Mamit in the 1st round.

cobalt60
09-10-2006, 06:24 PM
Thanks GW. I appreciate the news as I have limited time to go looking myself. Good luck to MR in the first round.

Sweet4Richard
09-11-2006, 11:59 PM
Good Luck to Michael :)

Action Jackson
09-19-2006, 06:28 PM
After a loss to Mamit in 1st round. He is playing in Luddock and his opponent in Mankad the Indian and he leads 6-3 4-1 at the moment.

Action Jackson
09-20-2006, 10:24 AM
Russ won in straight sets and will now play Sam Warburg in the next round.

Action Jackson
09-27-2006, 07:42 AM
Russ won his 1st rounder against Brendan Evans 6-4 6-4 in the Tulsa challenger and now plays Wes Whitehouse in the 2nd round.

Action Jackson
09-29-2006, 07:32 AM
Another straight sets win for Mike over Whitehouse 6-4 6-3 and now plays Lipsky in the QFs and would play the winner of big Cecil Mamit or Fleishman.

He has a good chance of winning this event, but lets see what happens.

ae wowww
09-29-2006, 02:44 PM
Keep grinding it out, Mickey!

cobalt60
09-30-2006, 01:00 AM
:yeah:

Action Jackson
10-01-2006, 06:33 AM
Russ plays Bobby Reynolds in the final here and I think he can defeat him and win another Challenger event.

Sweet4Richard
10-02-2006, 02:19 AM
Reynolds won 7-6(3) 6-3


I was really thinking he would win this one. Oh, well.. Its still a good result nevertheless :)

cobalt60
10-02-2006, 02:19 AM
I was surprised as well. Good luck next tournie.

jole
10-02-2006, 12:28 PM
Too bad Mike, but still nice to get that far.

Action Jackson
10-03-2006, 03:36 AM
Mike is now ranked at 138 now and hope he can have some more good results.

He has the week off now.

Action Jackson
10-18-2006, 12:50 AM
Mike won his 1st match in the Calabasas Ch 6-7 6-1 6-1, good finish to the match and he now plays Warburg in the 2nd round.

Action Jackson
10-29-2006, 06:37 AM
He is playing in Louisville and is playing the young and talented Dutch player Robin Haase.

If he gets through that it will be a match with either Warburg or Sela.

jole
10-30-2006, 11:49 PM
Two tough tiebreaks in the loss category for Mike. I like Robin at least.

I may go next week to Nashville to see Mike and others again. I'll tell him his online contingent has grown some. ;)

cobalt60
10-31-2006, 12:01 AM
Have a good time. Last year I was in Massachusetts watching tennis but Louisville got it this year;) There is always next year though;)

Action Jackson
11-05-2006, 07:26 AM
I think you should Jole and well he will be playing Pless in the 1st round and that should be enough to get him going, he seems to do better when it's least expected.

Action Jackson
11-09-2006, 05:50 AM
Tough loss for Russ against the serving machine Pless, but such is life and just hope he can do well in the later events.

Action Jackson
11-14-2006, 07:19 AM
Mike is playing in Champaign and is up against the funny man Lipsky in the 1st round and if he wins that will be playing Kendrick in the next round.

Sweet4Richard
11-14-2006, 03:08 PM
http://www.atptennis.com/en/common/TrackIt.asp?file=http://www.atptennis.com/1/posting/2006/637/x.pdf Main Draw

Good Luck Michael.

Action Jackson
11-15-2006, 02:12 AM
It was an easy 6-1 6-2 win for Mike and now he plays Kendrick and hope he can return serve better in this match than the previous one.

Action Jackson
11-16-2006, 12:38 AM
Russ defated Kendrick in straight sets 6-2 6-3 and now plays Bastl for a place in the semis.

Sweet4Richard
11-16-2006, 03:31 PM
Good Job :yeah:

I think he can beat Bastl.

Action Jackson
11-16-2006, 11:55 PM
Mike is continuing on his run and defeated Bastl 6-4 6-2 and now plays the winner of Fleishman and Anderson.

cobalt60
11-17-2006, 02:34 AM
These have all been straight forward wins :yeah:

Action Jackson
11-17-2006, 12:37 PM
These have all been straight forward wins :yeah:

I just want him to win this title and I don't care how he does it.

cobalt60
11-18-2006, 12:25 AM
Well unfortunately he lost but a good run to the SF's.

Action Jackson
11-18-2006, 04:47 AM
This was a winnable match for Russ and he lost in a 3rd set breaker 7-4, but this was an opportunity lost to go closer into getting direct entry into the AO, but he should be seeded in the qualies.

Sweet4Richard
11-18-2006, 09:28 PM
Shame that he lost. I just hope he can carry over this form into 2007 for Australia.

Action Jackson
11-20-2006, 03:07 AM
Here is the section of the draw for Naples that Mike is in.

(3)Kevin Kim (USA) vs Wayne Odesnik (USA)
Gabriel Montenegro (ARG) vs Jamie Baker (GBR)
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs Michael Russell (USA)
(7)Ilia Bozoljac (SRB) vs Adrian Garcia (CHI)

Action Jackson
11-22-2006, 04:34 AM
Easy 1st round win Russell and now he plays Bozoljac in the second round.

Sweet4Richard
11-22-2006, 06:36 PM
He won 6-1, 6-4 :)

Bozoljac is the 7th seed. He has a tough 1st round match. I think Mike can beat him. (or at least, hope so).

Action Jackson
11-26-2006, 04:06 PM
Mike lost to Bozo 7-5 in the 3rd.

He is in Maui and hope he can do better and here is a pic from earlier this year.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g239/GeorgeWH/Michael20Russell.jpg

Sweet4Richard
11-26-2006, 06:44 PM
He's seeded 5th and faces American wildcard Chrish Wettengel in the first round.

http://www.atptennis.com/en/common/TrackIt.asp?file=http://www.atptennis.com/1/posting/2006/3507/mds.pdf

Action Jackson
11-29-2006, 03:41 AM
Easy win for Mike 6-1 6-2 and now plays Widom in the next round.

Sweet4Richard
11-30-2006, 02:05 AM
He won 6-2, 6-3. He next faces Brendan Evans in the quarters.

cobalt60
12-03-2006, 10:10 PM
Final at Maui :)

jole
12-03-2006, 11:45 PM
Crushes Warburg to end a totally awesome week. :)

Action Jackson
12-04-2006, 02:52 AM
Great stuff Mike laying the smackdown on Warburg and Goldstein and now hope he can have a little bit of rest.

Get a good base and be prepared to qualify for the Aus Open.

Sweet4Richard
12-05-2006, 06:22 PM
:) Michael!

Action Jackson
12-12-2006, 03:06 AM
Mike is back in training and cause he missed a large part of the year, he is fresher than most players, so he should be able to come into the New Year starting strongly.

Action Jackson
12-19-2006, 06:18 AM
USTA Pro Circuit Player of the Week: Michael Russell

12/4/06 9:14 PM

Birthdate: May 1, 1978
Birthplace: Detroit, Mich.
Residence: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand
Turned pro: 1998

Michael Russell picked up his third USTA Pro Circuit singles title of 2006 Sunday, when he defeated Sam Warburg in the final of the Wailea $50,000 Men’s Challenger in Maui, Hawaii.

Seeded fifth in the draw, Russell cruised through his first three matches with straight-set wins over countrymen Chris Wettengel, Todd Widom and Brendan Evans. He dropped his only set of the week in his 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 semifinal upset over top-seed Paul Goldstein and then decisively knocked out No. 6 Warburg, 6-1, 6-0, for the championship.

Russell, who also reached the doubles semifinals in Maui with partner Harsh Mankad, has had an outstanding year on the USTA Pro Circuit – his eighth year as a pro. In addition to Maui, he took home singles titles at the $50,000 Bronx Challenger and the $15,000 Brownsville, Texas, Futures, giving him a total of 15 USTA singles championships, more than anyone in the history of the USTA Pro Circuit.

Other highlights for the 28-year-old right-hander from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., include reaching the final at the Tulsa Challenger, the semifinals at the Champaign-Urbana and Atlanta Challengers and the quarterfinals at the Calabasas, Lubbock and Waikoloa Challengers. He also qualified into the US Open and put up a tough fight against No. 27-seed Gael Monfils before falling to the Frenchman in the opening round, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

Action Jackson
12-19-2006, 02:44 PM
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/svein_sveynsson/Russ.jpg

http://www.mauinews.com/story.aspx?id=25699

Russell takes Wailea tourney
By KATHERINE BELCHER, Staff Writer

WAILEA – In a tennis tournament where all the participants are physically strong, winning often comes down to the player who is the mentally toughest at the end.

In the championship match at the Wailea Men’s Challenger, Michael Russell proved he was the mentally tougher player by defeating Sam Warburg 6-1, 6-0 on Sunday.

’’At this level, everyone plays well,’’ Russell said. ’’What separates people is mental ability.’’

Russell, the tournament’s No. 5 seed, said there are many elements to deal with in a match that are out of a players control – weather, bad calls, unlucky drops – and that winning and losing is decided by how a player handles those situations.

Just more than an hour before the championship match, Russell had to dispatch No. 1 seed Paul Goldstein. Their semifinal match on Saturday was postponed due to rain with Russell leading 4-0 in the third set, and the match tied at one set apiece.

The continuation of that match took place on Center Court, and Russell needed only three games to send Goldstein packing 5-7, 6-0, 6-1. It was a sign of things to come for Warburg, who was seeded sixth.

’’I was a little nervous this morning,’’ Russell said. ’’It was probably a good thing (to play) because it got me loose.’’

Russell started the match by breaking Warburg’s serve and quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead, hitting winners from every area of the court. Russell seemed to get to every shot, and had an answer for every ball hit by Warburg.

When long rallies from the baseline weren’t working for Warburg, he started coming into net – but Russell answered with precision passing shots and winning lobs.

Warburg managed to hold his serve in the fifth game of the set, but it took 13 points and went to deuce four times. It was the only game Warburg would win, and Russell won the next two games to take the set.

It was more of the same in the second set, and Russell never faltered on his way to shutting out Warburg.

For his win, Russell earned 50 points toward his ATP ranking and $7,200 in prize money. Warburg earned 35 points and $4,240.

Warburg congratulated Russell after the match, and speaking to the crowd, said he hoped they appreciate the level of tennis that Russell played not just on Sunday, but all week.

’’I’m new to the tour – when you leave your friends at college, it’s unique to find friends on tour,’’ said Warburg, who played at Stanford. ’’Mike’s been like a big brother and had done a great job. I’m really happy for him, and I can’t complain about Hawaii – it’s great here. It’s been one of the best weeks of my career.’’

Russell said he felt good about his play all week, and that Warburg had also played well since the tournament began. Warburg was fighting off a cold during the championship, which combined with the heat and humidity, may have caused him to come out flat on Sunday, Russell said.

Russell seemed to sense the weakness and jumped on it early.

’’Overall I’m happy with my play,’’ Russell said. ’’I didn’t give him a lot of free points and I was able to counteract his good shots with my own good shots.’’

As for playing in the inaugural ATP challenger at Wailea, Russell said he enjoyed playing on Maui and was thankful for the tough competition.

’’This is a tough tournament,’’ said Russell. ’’Depth-wise it was very difficult, and it was good way to close out the season and prepare for the upcoming
season.’’

Russell said he’ll be heading to Australia on Christmas night to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 15.

Action Jackson
12-20-2006, 07:52 AM
Mike is playing in the Noumea Challenger and then off to the AO qualies and from there will more than likely play another challenger and then go to Delray Beach.

cobalt60
12-20-2006, 04:41 PM
Good luck to him. I am thinking the tennis channel broadcasts Delray Beach so .......

Action Jackson
01-01-2007, 07:53 AM
Here is the draw for Noumea where Mike is the 4th seed and has a good section of the draw.

Nicolas Devilder [FRA, 1] vs. Qualifier
Alex Kuznetsov [USA] vs. Wayne Odesnik [USA]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] vs. Stéphane Bohli [SUI]
Jérémy Chardy [FRA, WC] vs. Noam Okun [ISR, 7]

Michael Russell [USA, 4] vs. Qualifier
Nicolas Tourte [FRA] vs. Alexandre Sidorenko [FRA, WC]
Marc López [ESP] vs. Thierry Ascione [FRA]
Ivo Klec [SVK] vs. Jean-Christophe Faurel [FRA, 5]

Mathieu Montcourt [FRA, 8] vs. Michal Przysiezny [POL]
David Guez [FRA] vs. Qualifier
Qualifier vs. Jan Mertl [CZE]
Flavio Cipolla [ITA] vs. Gorka Fraile [ESP, 3]

Robin Haase [NED, 6] vs. Lukas Lacko [SVK]
Simon Stadler [GER] vs. Sébastien De Chaunac [FRA, WC]
Edouard Roger-Vasselin [FRA, WC] vs. Julien Jeanpierre [FRA]
Alex Bogomolov Jr. [USA] vs. Michael Llodra [FRA, 2]

Grinder
01-04-2007, 03:05 AM
(4)Michael Russell (USA) d. Laurent Recouderc (FRA) 6-0 6-1 :)

According to Truc, Russ won the match in 51 minutes and barely made an error, great start to the season, now win it big man.

Action Jackson
01-04-2007, 03:42 AM
Good stuff Mike and the tournament is open now and he plays Sidorenko in the next round all good training for the AO qualies.

Grinder
01-04-2007, 09:54 PM
Mike takes out Sidorenko with ease 6-1 6-2, he plays Thierry Ascione in a few hours. :)

Action Jackson
01-06-2007, 09:07 AM
Mike has been in very good form and he won his QF and had a retirement against him in the semi final.

He defeated Ascione 6-1 6-2 and was leading Okun 6-2 2-1 retired

He is a big fave against Guez in the final and hope he can continue in the same form and take out the title.

jole
01-06-2007, 07:28 PM
Ascione is not a bad challenger player at all, great win there.

Take out Guez!

Deboogle!.
01-06-2007, 07:33 PM
:yeah: Good for him!

cobalt60
01-06-2007, 07:59 PM
:yeah: for Mike! Too bad about Noam though-seems he is always injured these days.

Action Jackson
01-07-2007, 09:36 AM
Easy win for Mike in the final 6-0 6-1 over Guez.

He was clearly superior this week and just hope he still has some of that form left to qualify for the main draw of the Aus Open.

Deboogle!.
01-07-2007, 02:15 PM
:yeah:

cobalt60
01-07-2007, 02:36 PM
Easy win for Mike in the final 6-0 6-1 over Guez.

He was clearly superior this week and just hope he still has some of that form left to qualify for the main draw of the Aus Open.

Wow what a scoreline! Seems he did the same in Maui over his opponents. Congrats MR:cool:

Action Jackson
01-08-2007, 07:24 AM
Mike has now moved to 115 in the rankings and if he remains injury free, then he should be able to make direct entry into Roland Garros.

*Sweet4Richard*
01-10-2007, 03:11 PM
Michael's qualifying section at the AO:

Michael Russell [USA, 6] vs. Lars Burgsmüller [GER]
Harel Levy [ISR] vs. Leonardo Mayer [ARG]
Rogerio Dutra Silva [BRA] vs. Paul Baccanello [AUS]
Stéphane Bohli [SUI] vs. Jean-Christophe Faurel [FRA, 31]

*Sweet4Richard*
01-10-2007, 03:13 PM
:woohoo: Michael for winning.

Grinder
01-11-2007, 02:20 AM
Russ takes out Lars Burgsmuller 6-4 7-5 in 1:47, a solid performance with a 28 winners and 17 unforced for Russ. He plays the winner of Harel Levy and Leo Mayer. Should Russ advance to the final round of qualies, he would meet Paul Baccanello or Bohli. Both are winnable an dhis chances of qualifying if he plays well are very good.

*Sweet4Richard*
01-11-2007, 11:03 PM
Happy to hear Michael won :) Levy is def. beatable. I've seen him play at this challenger for the past few years. Michael should be able to beat him. Never saw Leo Mayer play so I can't judge.

Grinder
01-12-2007, 12:09 AM
Mike beat Leo Mayer 6-1 6-3 in 1:03, another solid performance with 17 winners and 9 winners. Paul Baccanello awaits in the final round of qualifying. LET'S GO RUSS! :woohoo:

cobalt60
01-12-2007, 12:44 PM
:banana:

Action Jackson
01-12-2007, 12:47 PM
Yes, I have seen all his matches so far and will see it tomorrow, but I have a lot of data to process at the moment for 3 days, so it won't be until tomorrow before I can think of getting something resembling a report of the matches.

cobalt60
01-12-2007, 12:54 PM
That would be great GW to read a write up. Hope you are enjoying yourself!

Grinder
01-12-2007, 11:57 PM
Russ qualified for the Australian Open with a 6-2 6-1 win over Paul Baccanell0 in 1:02, Russ is now 8-0 in matches and 16-0 in sets this year. :woohoo:

SHB
01-12-2007, 11:57 PM
Russell's in after beating Australian Paul Baccanello 6-2, 6-1. Three straight set victories for Russell. He's on a roll.

If he wins a round in the AO, he'll likely crack the top 100.

Edit: You beat me by seconds, Grinder.

cobalt60
01-13-2007, 12:16 AM
This is great news :cool:

Action Jackson
01-13-2007, 07:26 AM
Hahaha, Russ got Lleyton in the 1st round, this is what could be called a test.

TMJordan
01-13-2007, 07:30 AM
:woohoo: for making it Michael.

:( for drawing Hewitt

But I am sure Hewitt is just as displeased, Russell is playing some great tennis, should be a good match.

Action Jackson
01-13-2007, 07:31 AM
Get off the bandwagon please.

TMJordan
01-13-2007, 07:33 AM
:haha: ok just because I dont post all the time in players forums means I cant be a fan of them? alright buddy.:rolleyes:

Action Jackson
01-13-2007, 07:36 AM
That was an easy catch, didn't even need to use good bait.

Deboogle!.
01-13-2007, 02:19 PM
Cmon man, you can do it :yeah:

cobalt60
01-13-2007, 02:48 PM
Well this should be an interesting match. If ever there was a time for MR to do his thing it is now! So good playing:yeah:

Action Jackson
01-15-2007, 11:00 PM
http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/bm/sport/612420.html



Mighty Mouse will test Lleyton

DON’T be fooled by the fact Lleyton Hewitt has drawn a qualifier in his opening round of the Australian Open tomorrow.

US’s Michael Russell, who goes by the moniker of Mighty Mouse, is no one’s idea of an easybeat.

While an underdone Hewitt goes into his home grand slam battling a calf injury and adjusting to life with a new coach, his opponent is flying.

After finally overcoming a string of knee and hamstring injuries that kept him off the tour for the best part of four years, the American is back on the cusp of the top 100.

He won his past two Challenger tournaments in Hawaii and Noumea, dropping just 10 games in five matches in the latter event in early January.

Russell, 28, breezed through the Australian Open qualifiers, belting another South Australian Paul Baccanello 6-2 6-1 in the final round.

Back in 2001, Russell advanced from qualifying to the fourth round of the French Open, beating two-time former champion Sergi Bruguera and Xavier Malisse along the way.

Awaiting him in the round of 16 was claycourt king Gustavo Kuerten, a Brazilian by birth but a player so adored by the French fans he once drew a heart with his racquet on Roland Garros’ centre court.

Russell eventually went down in five sets, but not before holding match point against the man who would go on to win his third French Open title.

“You’re so close to beating the No.1 player in the world on the biggest stage and at the same time you don’t and you lose,” Russell said yesterday.

“I took a lot of positives out of it but obviously there were a couple of negatives.”

Russell has played Hewitt once before and was on the end of a 6-1 6-1 drubbing in Tokyo in 2001 when the Australian was the world No.1.

This time he has form and match fitness on his side.

“I’m playing really well but obviously Lleyton is a great competitor and he doesn’t give you anything,” Russell said.

“I consider myself a great competitor too so I think there will be a lot of great rallies.

“I’m good at mixing the pace, I play a bit like a Spanish-type player.

“I’m very quick around the court, my fitness is really good and I know it’s supposed to be pretty hot on Tuesday.”

Russell is also hopeful he can take advantage of Hewitt’s abbreviated build up, with the No.19 seed only playing one-and-a-half matches since September.

“His preparation maybe wasn’t the best for this tournament,” Russell said.

“But the thing is he’s a great competitor.

“He’s been No.1 in the world and he’s a professional, so I’m sure he’s going to be playing at his best or at least trying to on Tuesday.”

cobalt60
01-16-2007, 01:50 PM
5 sets and :( Well he tried.

*Sweet4Richard*
01-16-2007, 08:47 PM
Good on Michael for qualifying :woohoo:

I didn't see the match against Lleyton last night, but o gosh, five sets. I really thought he had a great show of beating Lleyton. Too bad. Must have been pretty fun to watch. Mike :yeah:

Action Jackson
01-22-2007, 11:29 PM
It was an excellent performance from Mike and there is a lot to build on from there.

Grinder
01-24-2007, 12:26 AM
Mike beat Nick Monroe 6-3 6-4 in the first round of a challenger in Hawaii, a decent result here would take him into the top 100.

*Sweet4Richard*
01-25-2007, 02:36 PM
:yeah:

jole
01-26-2007, 01:27 AM
Mike beat Nick Monroe 6-3 6-4 in the first round of a challenger in Hawaii, a decent result here would take him into the top 100.

He certainly deserves to be there so hopefully it happens soon.

Action Jackson
01-26-2007, 01:27 AM
If he does well here, it looks like he will miss Delray Beach, though this might not be a bad thing.

Action Jackson
01-26-2007, 05:21 AM
Mike defeated the Beach Bum Brian Wilson 6-1 6-3 and he won't be having good vibrations about this match.

Mike plays Mr. Moscow Kunitsyn in the quarter finals.

Action Jackson
01-26-2007, 11:42 PM
Mike defeated Mr Moscow Kunitsyn 6:4 6:3 and now plays Lu or Ram in the semis.

Action Jackson
01-27-2007, 02:53 AM
Russ plays Lu in the semis and will play the winner of Odesnik or Baker in the final.

Action Jackson
01-27-2007, 02:55 AM
Mike has got a WC to Delray Beach and he is playing the stupid format of RR. If he wins the match, then he will go into Group 7 with Greul and Spadea.

Here the draw is in full.

Main draw elimination:
http://www.atptennis.com/1/posting/2007/499/mde.pdf

SANGUINETTI, Davide ITA vs. QUALIFIER=ME1
FALLA, Alejandro COL vs. QUALIFIER=ME2
PAVEL, Andrei ROM vs. BOZOLJAC, Ilia SRB=ME3
GABASHVILI, Teimuraz RUS vs. (WC) GAMBILL, Jan-Michael USA=ME4
(WC) RUSSELL, Michael USA vs. (WC) SWEETING, Ryan USA=ME5
ECONOMIDIS, Konstantinos GRE vs. QUERREY, Sam USA=ME6
BOGDANOVIC, Alex GBR vs. QUALIFIER=ME7
KUBOT, Lukasz POL vs. QUALIFIER=ME8

Main draw singles:
http://www.atptennis.com/1/posting/2007/499/mds.pdf

Group 1:
[1] Blake, James USA
Kendrick, Robert USA
ME7

Group 2:
[5] Mayer, Florian GER
Kunitsyn, Igor RUS
ME3

Group 3:
[4] Becker, Benjamin GER
Kim, Kevin USA
ME8

Group 4:
[6] Kohlschreiber, Philipp GER
Delic, Amer USA
ME1

Group 5:
[7] Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo ESP
Pless, Kristian DEN
ME4

Group 6:
[3] Malisse, Xavier BEL
Schuettler, Rainer GER
ME2

Group 7:
[8] Spadea, Vincent USA
Greul, Simon GER
ME5

Group 8:
[2] Haas, Tommy GER
Lu, Yen-Hsun TPE
ME6

Finals Round:

Winner Group 1 vs. Winner Group 2

Winner Group 3 vs. Winner Group 4

Winner Group 5 vs. Winner Group 6

Winner Group 7 vs. Winner Group 8

jole
01-28-2007, 03:57 AM
Mike beat Lu 0 and 6. :yeah: :D

Action Jackson
01-28-2007, 04:02 AM
Mike now plays Baker in the final.

Then he will have to fly off to Delray for the matches, then hopefully he takes a break after Delray.

jole
01-28-2007, 04:07 AM
Ya, I may not see him in San Jose. :sad:

*Sweet4Richard*
01-28-2007, 08:39 PM
Michael is doing so well. Great and good luck in the final :)

I hate round robin, but it would be great if he could qualify. *fingers crossed*

SHB
01-28-2007, 09:11 PM
Russell was given a wild card for Delray Beach.

Action Jackson
01-29-2007, 12:45 AM
Russell was given a wild card for Delray Beach.

Scroll up the draw has been printed in this thread already.

Russell has another straight sets win 6-1 6-4 and wins the title and this should get him into the top 100 now.

Deboogle!.
01-29-2007, 12:47 AM
Dang. Is his only loss to Hewitt?!

Action Jackson
01-29-2007, 12:52 AM
1st goal for 2007 has been reached and Mike should be well inside the top 100.

jole
01-29-2007, 03:06 AM
2007 is going to be damn good for Mike if he stays healthy.

Action Jackson
01-29-2007, 03:08 AM
Just hope Mike stays healthy, that is the key and he can do well on the clay as well.

Tom Paulman
01-29-2007, 06:32 AM
He can now reach his new career-high which I see happening soon. :worship: I hope Mike won't be tired in delray, I think he really got a chance against Greul and Spadea

Action Jackson
01-29-2007, 09:52 PM
Mike is #94 now and after all the crap he has been through, lets hope he can go further and win some matches on the big tour.

cobalt60
01-30-2007, 01:43 PM
:banana:

*Sweet4Richard*
01-30-2007, 02:46 PM
Awesome Job. :yeah:

So far 2007 has been great for him, let's hope he stays healthy.

Action Jackson
01-30-2007, 04:52 PM
Mike retired at 6-7 2-2 against Sweeting.

I don't think it's too serious and it will be good for him to have some time off.

jole
01-30-2007, 08:08 PM
Hopefully it's a precautionary retirement.

Deboogle!.
01-30-2007, 08:10 PM
the ATP site says "illness" is the reason, so he should be fine just after some rest. Good news that that's all it was :)

jole
01-31-2007, 02:14 AM
the ATP site says "illness" is the reason, so he should be fine just after some rest. Good news that that's all it was :)

Good good, hopefully it's just a bad cold or something.

Action Jackson
01-31-2007, 02:14 AM
I don't think it's serious at all.

Deboogle!.
01-31-2007, 06:10 AM
According to this article http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/content/sports/epaper/2007/01/31/a3c_delray_0131.html

Mike will be traveling to Ostrava with the US DC team. Good choice and nice recognition for Mike, usually they take much younger players. :)

cobalt60
01-31-2007, 01:16 PM
Last night on the tennis channel program "Open Access" they did a small segment with Murphy Jensen interviewing Mike in an old jail museum in Oz Land. It took place after his loss to Hewitt. Seems like a very nice guy. They also mentioned that just after his defeat he was asked by PMac to accompany the DC team.

Action Jackson
01-31-2007, 01:18 PM
Well he is the only one along with Spadea who have an idea to play on clay, but Vince is Vince.

Deboogle!.
01-31-2007, 11:10 PM
From PMac's press conference today.....

Q. Patrick, just following up, is Ryan Sweeting going to be a practice partner?
PATRICK McENROE: Ryan Sweeting and Michael Russell.

Q. They just played each other in Delray?
PATRICK McENROE: They did. Sweeting won. Michael got a little bit of a flu that he had gotten. He had just flown in from Hawaii where he won the Challenger there and he was a little bit under the weather and retired. Sweeting had another win today. He is doing well.

Action Jackson
02-01-2007, 04:09 AM
Mike had a stomach flu and had a lot of problems moving in his match and did the sensible thing and he will be leaving for Ostrava on Saturday.

The Czechs did the right thing and picked the biggest shithole in the Czech Republic to play in.

*Sweet4Richard*
02-01-2007, 03:18 PM
That's really nice to hear that Patrick picked Michael as a practice partner for DC. A really good guy getting the attention he deserves. Shame that he was sick in Delray, but maybe he can have a chance to rest up before flying over the Czech Republic.

Tom Paulman
02-04-2007, 07:00 PM
The Czechs did the right thing and picked the biggest shithole in the Czech Republic to play in.

You're damn right. I wanted to attend the DC and possibly see Blake, Roddick and Mike in person but Ostrava is on the other side of the country. I have few relatives there and I think there's nothing much to do so they might be bored if they want to do something else than practising...

Action Jackson
02-08-2007, 05:18 AM
You're damn right. I wanted to attend the DC and possibly see Blake, Roddick and Mike in person but Ostrava is on the other side of the country. I have few relatives there and I think there's nothing much to do so they might be bored if they want to do something else than practising...

I think they will only be training and spending time in the hotel. The thing is the best time to see them is when they train before the tie, when the match is on, especially an indoor tie, it can be harder to get access.

Mike is the best of them on clay, but he won't see any action.

Action Jackson
02-11-2007, 04:53 PM
Mike warmed them up well and they won the tie.

He is Challenger action again in Joplin.

(1)Michael Russell (USA) - (WC)Tyler Cleveland (USA)
Nathan Healey (AUS) - Benedikt Dorsch (GER)
Alan Mackin (GBR) - Michael Lammer (SUI)
Bobby Reynolds (USA) - (5)Alex Kuznetsov (USA)

(3)Ilia Bozoljac (SRB) - Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Jamie Baker (GBR) - Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)
Nick Monroe (USA) - Phillip Simmonds (USA)
(Q) - (8)Rajeev Ram USA

Alun Jones (AUS) - Hugo Armando (USA)
Frederic Niemeyer (CAN) - (WC)Stefan Borg SWE
(Q) - (WC)Ryan Sweeting (USA)
(Q) - (4)Jesse Witten (USA)

(6)Wayne Odesnik (USA) - Todd Widom (USA)
Joshua Goodall (GBR) - Michael Ryderstedt (SWE)
(WC)John Paul Fruttero USA - (Q)
Brendan Evans (USA) - (2)Chris Guccione (AUS)

Tom Paulman
02-11-2007, 06:07 PM
Good luck to Mike, but if he plays already on Monday he will have no time to practice and to get used to different time zone

Deboogle!.
02-12-2007, 01:53 AM
He's not playing tomorrow, and during the Davis Cup coverage, they said he and Sweeting left yesterday (Saturday) to be able to get to Joplin, so I'd imagine he's there already so he should be ok :yeah:

Tom Paulman
02-12-2007, 08:11 AM
He's not playing tomorrow, and during the Davis Cup coverage, they said he and Sweeting left yesterday (Saturday) to be able to get to Joplin, so I'd imagine he's there already so he should be ok :yeah:

Cool, thanx for the info :) I was wondering why they didn't pick Russell or Sweeting for the last match when USA led 3-1 and Blake didn't want to play because the result already didn't matter.. now I get it :D

Action Jackson
02-12-2007, 08:16 AM
Cool, thanx for the info :) I was wondering why they didn't pick Russell or Sweeting for the last match when USA led 3-1 and Blake didn't want to play because the result already didn't matter.. now I get it :D

Actually PMac couldn't have picked Russell or Sweeting if he wanted to. You can only pick from the nominated 4 players and the other 2 were only there as hitting partners.

These challengers are good points accumulators, if he does well, but would like to see some good results on the main tour and no more injuries. As long as he gets in direct for RG, then that is the main goal.

Mike might get a WC to Indian Wells or Miami, then again he might not. It will be a mix of challengers and main draw events this year, but as long as he remains injury free, then he will able to get into summer MM events in the US.

Tom Paulman
02-12-2007, 11:30 AM
Actually PMac couldn't have picked Russell or Sweeting if he wanted to. You can only pick from the nominated 4 players and the other 2 were only there as hitting partners.

Ha ha, that's right, I didn't think about it :lol: shame on me

Grinder
02-14-2007, 03:12 AM
Russ easily beats Tyler Cleveland 6-2 6-4 in the first round of Joplin challenger, an injured Benedikt Dorsch is up next.

Action Jackson
02-14-2007, 06:29 AM
Just keep on going Mike.

*Sweet4Richard*
02-14-2007, 06:52 PM
Michael :)

Grinder
02-15-2007, 12:47 AM
Russ eases past Dorsch 6-4 6-3, youngster Alex Kuznetsov is up next. Keep it up. :yeah:

*Sweet4Richard*
02-15-2007, 03:30 PM
Great :yeah:

Grinder
02-15-2007, 10:21 PM
Russ sweeps past Kuznetsov 6-4 6-4, Jamie Baker awaits in the semis. Mike beat Jamie 6-1 6-4 in the final of Waikiloa, let's hope it's just as easy this time. :yeah:

Action Jackson
02-15-2007, 10:24 PM
Good win for Mike to get past the ball basher Kuznetsov indoors and just hope he can continue on with this form. Now, it's all about consolidation.

Deboogle!.
02-16-2007, 01:31 AM
this is really quite an amazing run for him :D

cobalt60
02-16-2007, 01:43 AM
:yeah: Keep it up Mike.

Tom Paulman
02-16-2007, 08:59 PM
And he's in finals now! He'll play Niemeyer or Ryderstedt tomorrow.

Edit: So there will be Russell vs. Niemeyer final

Grinder
02-16-2007, 09:17 PM
Russ beat Baker 6-1 7-6 and faces the resurgent Canadian Frederic Niemeyer in the final. Let's make it three for three challenger titles on the year Mike!

*Sweet4Richard*
02-17-2007, 03:18 AM
Thanks for all the updates :)

This is so great that he's playing so well. Keep it up :yeah:

Action Jackson
02-17-2007, 03:26 AM
Time to make it 3 challengers in a row and career high ranking shouldn't be out of the question.

Tom Paulman
02-17-2007, 08:11 AM
Time to make it 3 challengers in a row and career high ranking shouldn't be out of the question.

4 challengers in a row ;) It's his 3rd challenger this year and he also won the last challenger he played in 2006

Action Jackson
02-17-2007, 08:14 AM
4 challengers in a row ;) It's his 3rd challenger this year and he also won the last challenger he played in 2006

Yes, I know he won Hawaii last year, but this year is what counts and so far so good.

cobalt60
02-17-2007, 11:23 AM
Keep it up! :yeah:

Tom Paulman
02-17-2007, 07:09 PM
And he did it again! 6-4 6-1

Grinder
02-17-2007, 07:40 PM
:woohoo: With this win, Russ has 3 challenger titles on the year and has a whopping 18-1 record (not including his retirement against Sweeting) and is 38-3 in sets w/l. This should take him up to about 84 in the world rankings beating his previous career high of 85. :yeah:

Tom Paulman
02-17-2007, 07:46 PM
Let's hope it won't take him another 5,5 years to reach a new carrer high :)

cobalt60
02-17-2007, 08:07 PM
Well this is fun. Hope winning is a hard habit to break;)

Action Jackson
02-18-2007, 05:39 AM
Another win in the challengers without losing a set.

Mike is on the alternate list for Acapulco and Las Vegas, but I for one would like him to go to Acapulco and he can hang with his friend Kevin Kim, but the question whether they will give him a WC in Vegas.

jole
02-18-2007, 03:21 PM
I don't feel quite as bad about missing Mike in San Jose now!

Mike should really be able to win several matches on the main tour. :D

Action Jackson
02-18-2007, 08:10 PM
I asked the rankings guru and it seems that Mike will be ranked around 80th when the rankings come out tomorrow.

A career high, well done man.

Ivanatis
02-19-2007, 12:41 AM
wow, really dominating the challenger tour; I would love to see him more often at the "real" tournaments
anyone knowing when he will play one of those?

Deboogle!.
02-19-2007, 12:44 AM
wow, really dominating the challenger tour; I would love to see him more often at the "real" tournaments
anyone knowing when he will play one of those?well now that his ranking will be well inside the top 100 he should have no problem getting into ATP-level events. So hopefully soon :)

jole
02-19-2007, 12:59 AM
well now that his ranking will be well inside the top 100 he should have no problem getting into ATP-level events. So hopefully soon :)

Exactly, if you're ranking isn't top 80 there is no shame in playing challengers. It's not like he was being parasitic....for long. :p

*Sweet4Richard*
02-19-2007, 06:55 PM
Congrats Mike. Well done and extremely well deserved. :yeah:

Tom Paulman
02-19-2007, 07:11 PM
I hope his next tournament will be in ATP tour cause I'd love to see all the Top 50 players getting their asses beaten by Russell LOL. And it's definitely not unreal

Tom Paulman
02-22-2007, 04:31 PM
So Mike has been given a wild card for Indian Wells :worship:

cobalt60
02-22-2007, 05:40 PM
So Mike has been given a wild card for Indian Wells :worship:

:woohoo: Hope you get to see him Deb! He definitely deserves this WC!

Action Jackson
02-22-2007, 05:42 PM
So Mike has been given a wild card for Indian Wells :worship:

Thanks for that and did it hard the way without any help and it's good for him as well.

Deboogle!.
02-23-2007, 01:05 AM
:woohoo: Hope you get to see him Deb! He definitely deserves this WC!Excellent. We will look for him. We saw pretty much everyone last year so I'm sure we'll spot him at least once ;)

jole
02-23-2007, 01:27 AM
So Mike has been given a wild card for Indian Wells :worship:

Good decision by USTA/Tournament Director. :)

I think IW will be good to him.

*Sweet4Richard*
02-24-2007, 03:16 AM
A well deseved wildcard. No one more deserving could have gotten it. Go Mike :yeah:

Action Jackson
02-25-2007, 05:50 AM
Smart from Mike, he has rested up and should be ready to go for Indian Wells.

Deboogle!.
02-26-2007, 07:02 AM
really nice article. I did not know about the blood clots, sounds scary. nor did I know about the upcoming wedding. Great for him, seems like a top class guy :)
==========================
Russell beats all challenges
Charles Bricker
Published February 22, 2007

Right knee? Feels good. Left knee? No problem there. Lungs? No recurrence of blood clots. Hamstring is good. Ankles feel all right. Shoulder is in great shape.

Michael Russell, aka Mighty Mouse, is thinking he hasn't felt this good in six years -- maybe not since the fourth round of the 2001 French Open, where he had match point against Gustavo Kuerten, who would go on to win his third and final title at Roland Garros.

"Knock on wood," said Russell in a telephone interview from his home in Houston. "This the best I've felt in a long time."

There are players with a longer litany of injuries than Russell, who turned pro 10 years ago after playing No. 1 for the University of Miami. But there can't be many.

Today, after winning four Challengers in a row and pocketing a much-needed $31,600, Russell at age 28 has reached a career-best No. 80. That doesn't sound very significant, but for a guy who three years ago bottomed out at 1,701, it's the penthouse. Plus, he said: "After all those injuries, I don't feel like I've been on tour nine years. It feels more like five. I'm still hungry, and I'm not burned out."

No one expected Russell to reach the top 20 when he left Miami -- not at 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds. But there's a lot of bulldog in him, and that and his persistent ground stroking carried him to a 5-3 lead in the third set against Kuerten. It would have been one of the monumental upsets in the history of the French Open.

This isn't just Russell playing well at Challenger events, which are the high bush leagues of men's tennis. He qualified at the Australian Open a month ago and had Lleyton Hewitt down two sets to love in the opening round on the stadium court.

"To play that well in front of an Australian audience ... it gave me so much joy to be on the court," Russell said.

The injuries began in 2002 with undiagnosed osteochondritis in the right knee, which involves a piece of bone and cartilage separating from the rest of the bone. Five doctors couldn't figure it out. Exploratory surgery failed. Then the left knee went bad, and it was the same issue, though this time Jacksonville orthopedic surgeon Steven Lancaster corrected the problem on both knees.

After long periods of down time, Russell came back on tour in March 2005, won a futures event, went off to Ecuador and tore a hamstring in his right leg. Another 4 1/2 months of rehab.

"I was getting pretty discouraged and frustrated, but I'm usually pretty positive, and I had a good support group around me," he said. Flying home from the 2006 Aussie Open, he developed blood clots in both lungs.

"It wasn't life threatening, but it was scary," he said. "I had to take 10 days of injections and then blood thinners."

This current run began at a Challenger on Maui in November of last year with an important win over No. 71 Paul Goldstein in the semis and a title. And three more titles to follow.

"Mentally, I've improved a lot, too," he explained. "I'm not getting frustrated as much. You look at the top 10 players. They don't throw rackets. When I had Hewitt down two sets, he never showed anything. Those guys are very good mentally, and that's where I want to be."

It's rest time for Russell, who has learned a lot about taking care of his body. But he'll be at the Indian Wells qualifying in two weeks, and if he doesn't make the main draw or goes out in the first round of the main draw, he's double-signed into the BMW Tennis Championship in Sunrise, which starts three days after Indian Wells.

He'll also play the qualifying at the Sony Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne, which begins March 21. It is hoped he'll not only be standing for those events but will also in perfect physical condition for his wedding, Nov. 10, in Houston.

Tom Paulman
02-26-2007, 10:33 AM
Nice article, T4P!

You look at the top 10 players. They don't throw rackets. When I had Hewitt down two sets, he never showed anything. Those guys are very good mentally, and that's where I want to be

LOL, Guga threw his racket in that RG match and also Roddick does is pretty often.

Action Jackson
02-26-2007, 10:41 AM
Funny they want to interview hiim now, but didn't want to know about him before when he was struggling, but this is not surprising and it goes on everywhere.

Yes, DVT is a common problem with long distance travel

cobalt60
02-26-2007, 12:35 PM
Funny they want to interview hiim now, but didn't want to know about him before when he was struggling, but this is not surprising and it goes on everywhere.

Yes, DVT is a common problem with long distance travel

Take your aspirin everyone;)
Nice article. Congrats for the upcoming nuptials :yeah:

*Sweet4Richard*
02-27-2007, 03:35 PM
Nice article. Thanks :)

Grinder
03-06-2007, 10:14 PM
Well the draw is out for IW and Russ has the big hitting Marc Gicquel first round and if he wins that, he's got Berdych in the second. Mike can grind both of them up, let's get off to a good start Russ!

idolwatcher1
03-06-2007, 11:24 PM
looks like Mike was an active participant in this year's draw for IW...

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7341/fulljgetty73455757ms004hp9.jpg

He's one of the few players I got to see in person last year :) Good luck to him!

Action Jackson
03-07-2007, 02:33 AM
(17)BAGHDATIS, Marcos/BYE
GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo v MASSU, Nicolas
(WC)RUSSELL, Michael v GICQUEL, Marc
BYE/(11)BERDYCH, Tomas

Deboogle!.
03-07-2007, 02:49 AM
I'll try to catch some of his first match, I'm sure it won't be on the stadium :p

Tom Paulman
03-07-2007, 08:12 AM
Russell was in the crowd when Berdych was playing against Blake in Davis Cup, so he had plenty of time to think about how to beat him in case he faces him in IW :D

*Sweet4Richard*
03-07-2007, 08:49 PM
Not a terrible first round, but Berdych 2nd round :scared:

Let's go Mike!! :yeah:

Grinder
03-08-2007, 10:07 PM
Guys - Please vote here to get Michael his own forum!
(http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=97416)

Grinder
03-10-2007, 02:23 AM
Russ picked apart Gicquel 6-3 7-5 in 1:30. A nice win over a top 40 player and also a preview of what's to come with Berdych. Let's hope Russ can wear Berdych down and move him from side to side and force errors. Keep it up man. :yeah:

jole
03-10-2007, 05:46 AM
Come onnnnnnn. :D

I really do agree, Grinder, that he should have a great chance if he can exploit Tomas' movement. I predict a three set match unless Berdych is utterly on fire like he can be sometimes.

Action Jackson
03-10-2007, 05:55 AM
Berdych can hit through Mike when he is playing well, but at the same time it depends on how Russell handles Berdych's pace of shot, one thing in Russ's favour is that the Berdman hits a flat ball, but if Mike can get his slice working to move him forward that's another way he can prosper in this match.

A tough match for sure, but lets see what happens.

Tom Paulman
03-10-2007, 08:23 AM
I am happy for Mike :worship: I didn't fall asleep till the match ended which was about 4:50 AM in my time zone :) Al Ghareeb ranked 370 took a set off Berdych in Dubai so I believe Mike has a chance to beat him.

cobalt60
03-10-2007, 01:55 PM
:)

Action Jackson
03-10-2007, 02:36 PM
Some pics from the draw.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g239/GeorgeWH/fullj-6.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g239/GeorgeWH/fullj-4.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g239/GeorgeWH/fullj-5.jpg

Tom Paulman
03-10-2007, 02:41 PM
Thanx for posting the pics :yeah:

ae wowww
03-10-2007, 03:45 PM
Some of the most preposterous looking people choosing names for this draw.

Grinder
03-10-2007, 07:00 PM
I just checked back and this is Mike's first ATP level victory since Jan. 2003 (4 years) :eek:

*Sweet4Richard*
03-10-2007, 07:42 PM
Congrats Mike :yeah:

TMJordan
03-11-2007, 06:23 PM
Keep up the great tennis Mike, beating Berdych can be huge for him, this is one of those matches that can really put him on the map if he wins.

Best of luck to Mike :yeah:

Tom Paulman
03-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Is there any free livestream? Or can anyone rip the match? I would like to see it!

TMJordan
03-11-2007, 08:07 PM
Yes, right on cue Mike disposes of Berdych, huge win for his career imo, keep up the great work. :D

Onward and Upward Mike. :yeah:

Grinder
03-11-2007, 08:09 PM
Great stuff from Mike. :yeah:

Baghdatis or Garcia Lopez is next. Baghdatis might be a bad matchup, but we'll see.

idolwatcher1
03-11-2007, 08:17 PM
:woohoo: Way to go Mike!! :yeah: I'm really happy for him, this is a huge win!

cobalt60
03-11-2007, 08:18 PM
:)

Tom Paulman
03-11-2007, 08:22 PM
I would be happier if GGL defeated Baggy (somehow) but Mike proved today that Baggy should watch out :)

jole
03-11-2007, 08:34 PM
Mike is so solid. :yeah:

I don't think any of us are suprised by the result, but it sure is nice. :p

Tom Paulman
03-11-2007, 09:01 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Russell

Mike still doesn't have his Wikipedia profile, which most top100 players have

Edit: So he actually has a brief profile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Russell_%28tennis%29

*Sweet4Richard*
03-11-2007, 10:39 PM
:eek: Michael!! :woohoo: Amazing win!

Action Jackson
03-12-2007, 04:58 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Russell

Mike still doesn't have his Wikipedia profile, which most top100 players have

Edit: So he actually has a brief profile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Russell_%28tennis%29

Don't worry I will fix that up later.

Good win for Mike, but of course with this comes a lot of bandwagon jumpers and it just makes me laugh in a sad way.

Deboogle!.
03-12-2007, 06:34 AM
We saw the beginning of the match against Berdych today. Mike was playing really steady tennis, keeping the ball in play, frustrating Berdych, but going for big shots when necessary. Really good stuff and a great win of course.

Tom Paulman
03-12-2007, 09:53 AM
So my wish came true and Mike faces Garcia-Lopez instead of Baghdatis in the 3rd round.

Action Jackson
03-12-2007, 11:11 AM
http://www.tennisreporters.net/russell_031107_c.html

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g239/GeorgeWH/russell_rc_atl_chal_06_400.jpg

Quick veteran shocks Berdych
Russell enjoying the journey up from the Challenger circuit

Douglas Robson, Special to TennisReporters.net


No longer challenged by the Challengers, Michael Russell moves his way back into the Top 100.

FROM THE PACIFIC LIFE OPEN AT INDIAN WELLS – Being labeled a “journeyman” in pro sports is akin to being called a nobody. After dispatching No. 11 seed Tomas Berdych in the searing desert heat Sunday afternoon, Michael Russell doesn't care what he's called. He's just happy to be healthy and winning matches.

“That's fine, I don't mind,” said an upbeat Russell when his journeyman status was brought up after out hustling the big-hitting Berdych 7-6(2), 6-4 to reach the third round here. “I'm happy they're even talking about me, whatever they're calling me. It means I'm back playing. I love the sport.”

Two months shy of his 29th birthday, Michigan native Russell hadn't won a tour-level match since January 2003, a span of more than four years. He last ranked in the Top 100 six years ago. His best-known moment until now was holding match point against defending champ Gustavo Kuerten in the fourth round of '01 Roland Garros, which Kuerten went on to win in five sets and later, drew a heart on the court and laid in it. Russell could only stand at the other side of the court and watch the French crowd pay homage to Guga.

That's journeyman material with a capital J.
And yet, despite numerous injury setbacks, he is playing the best ball of his life. “I played very good tennis in 2001 when I was Top 100,” explained Russell, who finished No. 87 that year and is now one spot lower at No. 88. “But I feel like I'm a much more complete player now.” Whether he advances against third-round opponent Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain or not, Russell is expected to move into the 70s, which will top his career-best ranking of No. 80 set last month.

A top junior who jumped to the pro tour after one year at the University of Miami, Russell encountered a Job-like series of health setbacks after cracking into the Top 100. From 2002 to the middle of last year, he went through three knee surgeries, a torn hamstring, a ripped hip and a sprained ankle. Each time he started to come back, he'd get hit with another ailment. “I haven't been able to play a full year since 2001,” says Russell.

Five-foot-eight with great wheels, Russell is a prototype grinder along the lines of Lleyton Hewitt. He needs his body to perform at his best. The tide finally began to turn last summer, and he's been healthy for eight months. The break from the doctor's office has allowed him to work on his game uninterrupted, which he has been doing from his base in Houston with the Rice University tennis team and former pro Nicklas Kroon. His father, George, is his coach.

“I've been playing a lot better each week," says Russell, who foreshadowed his return to form in the first round of the Australian Open where, after qualifying, he went up two sets to love and a break on former No. 1 Hewitt but lost in five sets. "Mentally I've improved a lot. I used to be a little more frustrated. I'm staying within myself.”

He's also trying to serve bigger, mix up his shots more with a slice backhand and use his speed in an offensive manner. “I've always been very fast,” he says. “I don't always want to be so defensive with my speed.” Russell, no slacker in the fitness department, says he also has improved his movement and strength with more tennis-specific training.

Unlike some who hangs on in the game, Russell is bright, well-spoken and clearly capable of doing more than swatting a ball around for hours on end. He was a valedictorian in high school and his brother holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He's planning to marry his girlfriend later this year. So what keeps him toiling away?

A sense of incompleteness. “I always had the drive and the talent to be Top 100, and who knows how much farther,” he says. “I didn't want to walk away being injured.”

With no real income the last few years, that decision has been tough on his fiancé, Lilly, and his family for the past few years. Now that his prospects are looking up, he hopes to have Andre Agassi-like longevity.
If he hasn't been making much noise on the ATP Tour, Russell has been tearing up the Challenger Circuit. He currently holds a 20-match winning streak, including three titles this year, and has dropped just one set in all those wins. Last year, he broke Paul Goldstein's record for Challenger titles (12), which he has now extended to 18.

Russell says those wins have helped him against Berdych, the biggest win of his nine-year pro career.

“It's great to win all those matches at the Challenger level, not only physically but mentally,” he says. “That's the positive of coming out of playing so many matches in the challenges: It's different players, but the same situations.”

Still, Russell isn't content with minor-league records. “Obviously, the whole reason to play the Challengers is to try to get your ranking up to play tour events. … Hopefully, I'll get a winning streak going.”

Streak or not, Russell is enjoying the journey.

cobalt60
03-12-2007, 12:54 PM
Don't worry I will fix that up later.

Good win for Mike, but of course with this comes a lot of bandwagon jumpers and it just makes me laugh in a sad way.

Well would it be such a bad thing afterall?;) At least it means he keeps winning. Although I totally understand where you are coming from. Maybe he will be the winner for the month of March.:p

Action Jackson
03-12-2007, 12:55 PM
Well would it be such a bad thing afterall?;) At least it means he keeps winning. Although I totally understand where you are coming from. Maybe he will be the winner for the month of March.:p

It would be actually, but Canas has the month of March won.

Grinder
03-12-2007, 08:05 PM
Mike takes out Garcia Lopez 6-1 7-5, a bit of a hiccup with Russ up 6-1 *4-3, but he rebounded and got the win. Juan Ignacio Chela is almost certainly up next (up 6-2 4-2* on Gilles Simon). Chela will be tough but he's beatable.

cobalt60
03-12-2007, 08:06 PM
Just saw the livescore results :banana: You beat me to it Seth :lol:
Chela is very doable.

jole
03-12-2007, 08:22 PM
Solid, solid, solid. :)

Chela is much more capable overall than GGL, but Michael will be ready.

Tom Paulman
03-12-2007, 08:26 PM
I wonder when will Mike win his first 3 set match :lol: I hope he can beat Chela tomorrow and then make second biggest upset at IW ;)

Deboogle!.
03-13-2007, 12:58 AM
Great great great for him :) He was one of the only players who pulled off a big upset yesterday to come out and win today.

Action Jackson
03-13-2007, 01:12 AM
Chela and Mike bring on the grindfest, the serve of Chela is attackable and Mike just needs to expose Chela's poor movement.

*Sweet4Richard*
03-13-2007, 01:29 AM
Thanks for the article :yeah:

Glad he won again, let's keep on going Mike :banana:

cobalt60
03-14-2007, 12:02 AM
:( Was looking forward to seeing him on my tv screen. Good luck next tournament :yeah:

Tom Paulman
03-14-2007, 12:04 AM
So Chela won 6-4 6-4 :( Mike was up a break in the 2nd set but then got broken twice. Still he showed this week that he got the top 50 potential.

TMJordan
03-14-2007, 12:05 AM
Mike definatly had his chances but it apears that Chela had some big serves when he needed them too save break points, I dont think Mike served that well, oh well, I hope he can equal or better this accomplishment next time.

Tom Paulman
03-14-2007, 12:13 AM
He will be probably around #67 next week so it's been a successfull week :yeah:

Deboogle!.
03-14-2007, 01:29 AM
for me the best thing was not just that he played great against Berdych - and he really did - but also that he backed it up against another tough palyer in Garcia Lopez. Surely a sign of good things to come :)

Action Jackson
03-14-2007, 07:12 AM
If he wins the matches, then the ranking takes care of itself, it's not really any more complex than that.

Chela is a very solid player and gives nothing away and was too good and it was a good week for Mike and the bandwagon fans as well.

*Sweet4Richard*
03-14-2007, 04:33 PM
for me the best thing was not just that he played great against Berdych - and he really did - but also that he backed it up against another tough palyer in Garcia Lopez. Surely a sign of good things to come :)

I couldn't agree more. :)

Action Jackson
03-15-2007, 12:15 PM
Mike didn't get a WC to Miami and will be playing qualies.

Tom Paulman
03-15-2007, 04:32 PM
That's OK, I would be very surprised if he didn't qualify.

*Sweet4Richard*
03-16-2007, 11:26 PM
Let's hope for a good draw. I really think though that he will be able to get in if he plays the way he did in IW.

cobalt60
03-17-2007, 01:26 PM
Hmmm I don't know when exactly they picked the other WC's but personally Mike has a better record this year over all the other Americans. So I feel he was jiped. Ok enough of a gripe from me. Good luck in Miami Mike :yeah:

Deboogle!.
03-17-2007, 05:27 PM
I think they were all announced fairly recently, although some were announced a while back. 2 didn't even go to Americans - Guga and Tojo, and Sam got one, can't argue that. and Kuznetsov and Sweeting are rising stars with a lot of USTA support. So I don't think the WCs are completely off-base (Kuznetsov and Sweeting might be IMG clients? If so then that really explains it even more). Unfortunate for Mike, but I don't personally have a problem with the WCs that were given. At least it wasn't to Young or whatever. Plus if Mike keeps playing well he'll qualify anyway :)

cobalt60
03-17-2007, 05:39 PM
I was indeed referring to the 2 ?IMG stars. I still feel Mike should have gotten the WC over them but it is a moot point. I don't know if Mike does better by playing so much but one has to wonder given his injury history if he would have been better suited to just get in the main draw. I am sure GW has more info regarding.

Grinder
03-18-2007, 02:24 PM
Apart from Miami qualies, Mike's next tournies are:

River Oaks (clay exhibition)
Houston
Casablanca (First alternate)

The only good claycourters in the Casablanca field are Acasuso, Massu, Hidalgo, and Mathieu, so there' s a good chance Mike can pick up a win or two here. Obviously assuming that he can still move well on clay.

Action Jackson
03-18-2007, 02:29 PM
Apart from Miami qualies, Mike's next tournies are:

River Oaks (clay exhibition)
Houston
Casablanca (First alternate)

The only good claycourters in the Casablanca field are Acasuso, Massu, Hidalgo, and Mathieu, so there' s a good chance Mike can pick up a win or two here. Obviously assuming that he can still move well on clay.

I wouldn't worry too much about his movement on the surface, just whether he gets the balance right between defence and attack.