Youzhny Wins First Match

Kafelnikov’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, won his first match in the Swiss Open yesterday and made his way into the Round of 8. He defeated Kenny De Schepper of France in the straight sets by 6-3, 6-4.

Now, for a place in the semis, Youzhny will be up against Robin Haase of Netherlands.

Haase advanced to the quarter finals by getting better of the local boy Henri Laaksonen in a hard fought contest.

Youzhny and Haase had faced each other in the title round of this tournament last year. The Russian had managed to clinch the title by emerging victorious in that match.

So, Haase would definitely be looking for revenge. It would be difficult for him to do that though given Youzhny’s recent form.

Youzhny had looked like returning to form towards the end of the clay court season itself as he had reached the Round of 4 in the tournament in Stuttgart. Now, it seems that he has hit peak form and he would surely be the favourite going into the match against Haase.

Talking to the reporters after securing win against Schepper, Youzhny said, “You always feel nervous before the opening game, no matter where you are playing and who is there to face you. Thankfully, I did well, got a couple of breakthroughs and did alright on the serve too.”

“I have been hampered by injuries this season; but I can still make it a decent season for me if I remain consistent in the remaining tournaments.”

Youzhny is presently out of top 75 in the world rankings. He is at the 79th position. He can make big strides in the rankings in the near future though, but, for that, he needs to defend his crown successfully at Gstaad.