Michael Craig Russell
is an American tennis player.
Russell is best known for, on two occasions, holding surprise two-set leads in Grand Slam tournaments against former Grand Slam champions before eventually being defeated both times. In the 4th round of the 2001 French Open
(his best run at a Grand Slam tournament) against defending and eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten
, Russell led two sets to love and 5–3 in the third set, also missing a match point. In the 2007 Australian Open
, he held a two sets to love lead over former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt
before succumbing in five sets.
In the 2007 Indian Wells Masters event, he made it to the final 16 players in a 96-player field, after upsetting 11th seed – and 12th-ranked – Tomáš Berdych in round 2. He reached his career highest ranking of 60 in August 2007 after reaching 2nd round of Montreal TMS. Both his mother and father are tennis coaches.
Russell is a defensive counter-puncher, known for his footspeed and consistency. John McEnroe
described him as a particularly dogged competitor, saying that "no one's going to try harder on a tennis court than Michael Russell".
Tour tennis titles (19)