Re: Mikhail Youzhny: Articles & Interviews
Youzhny Beats Cilic To Capture Munich Crown
by ATP Staff
Mikhail Youzhny won his sixth ATP World Tour title, and second on clay.
On his third appearance in the Munich final, Mikhail Youzhny finally laid his hands on the BMW Open by FWU RETAKAFUL trophy with a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over top seed Marin Cilic Sunday.
By virtue of winning the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament, World No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points, €68,450 and also a new BMW 325i convertible from the title sponsor; while runner-up Cilic collected 150 ranking points and €35,980 in prize money.
The Russian, who had finished runner-up in the Munich final in 2007 (l. to Kohlschreiber) and 2009 (l. to Berdych), won his first ATP World Tour clay-court title since capturing his maiden trophy at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Canas) eight years ago.
Reflecting on his success in Munich, Youzhny said: “It is a good tournament, there is a nice atmosphere. I have a lot of friends here. It is a well-organised tournament for the players, whenever you need something they try to help and that’s important for the players.”
Victory also halted a run of three successive final defeats for Youzhny. Since winning his fifth ATP World Tour title in Moscow (d. Tipsarevic) last October, the Muscovite had finished runner-up in Valencia (l. to Murray) in November and this season in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and Dubai (l. to Djokovic).
The 27-year-old Youzhny went into the final with the confidence of a 3-0 career lead over Cilic and made a dream start to the match as he raced to a 3-0 advantage before going on to close out the first set.
The No. 11-ranked Cilic was quick to respond, breaking serve at the first opportunity in the second set and, despite being pegged back by Youzhny, was able to break again in the 10th game to level the match at one set apiece.
In a close deciding set, Youzhny saved one break point in the fourth game before breaking Cilic’s serve to love in the seventh game. The Russian then held his nerve to serve out victory in two hours and 51 minutes.
“It was a really tough match," assessed Youzhny. "There were some tough moments for me. At the beginning of the third set I think two or three of my games were going from deuce to advantage and back to deuce, so it was really tough."
“The momentum swung in different ways in the first, second and third sets," said Cilic. "I think I missed my chances at the beginning of the third set when I had a break point and after that he was trying to get back into it. I think my fatigue made a slight difference in the end when I missed a couple of easy balls on my serve. He served pretty good all through the match and didn’t miss too many easy balls, so it was really tough. But I was fighting very well and I’m pleased with that."