Youzhny Eyes a Chance for Title

DUBAI - Mikhail Youzhny could not have been happier after reaching the second Dubai final of his career.

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sun 28 Feb 2010, 1:22 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:55 AM

The 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships runner-up played some brilliant tennis as he tamed Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-5 7-6 in a tough semifinal match on Friday.

“It was a tough match, actually. It was really close for both players. But I saved a set point in the first set and both games were very close,” the world number 15 later told reporters.

The Russian was in complete command even though the Austrian kept asking him difficult questions. Even the Dubai heat and the strong wind failed to trouble the former world number 8.

“It was hot. But, you know, I had a tough tournament in Rotterdam as I had an injury. I just recovered, and so I needed to play, you know, all matches.

“It was very tough. And he did put pressure on me.

“So that’s why many points were tough. But, actually I serve really well in tiebreak and during the match. Overall I think I served really well.”

Youzhny revealed why it’s always difficult to play against the left-handers.

“You have to change your game a bit if you are playing a left-handed player. But I think Jurgen played really well today. He was aggressive. He won a lot of good points. So for me it was really tough.”

Youzhny also had to play a very tough match in the first round against an emerging Slovak – Lucas Lacko.

“Yeah, the first round match was the toughest for me in this tournament. Because I was playing after the injury, so you know, it wasn’t easy (he won in three sets). I didn’t play that well, and this guy played very well, you know.

“I was break down in the second set. He served for the match 30-15. So you know it was very tough and I somehow managed to win from a very bad position.”

In 2007, Youzhny had to play the greatest player of all time, Roger Federer, in the final.

This time, the Russian believes, he might have a better chance to win the title.

“Yeah, of course, when you don’t play against Roger, you have a little bit more chances against another player. But still, you know, you have Djokovic or Baghdatis. Still they are good players. It will be really tough for me. For these guys I hope it will be also tough (laughs).”

Djokovic or Baghdatis? “Well, it doesn’t matter because I know both of them are tough players. But yeah, you always like to play players you have beaten before.”

The Russian is hoping that crowd support will help him play better in the all important match on Saturday evening. “I always enjoy playing in Dubai, you know. A lot of Russians come to watch the matches, and actually I enjoy here and of course when you play the final it’s good to have crowd support.”

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