Youzhny quits Davis Cup
World number 11 Mikhail Youzhny has announced his retirement from Davis Cup action for Russia with immediate effect.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 24/02/11 12:42pm
Mikhail Youzhny has announced his retirement from Davis Cup action for Russia with immediate effect.
The 28-year-old became a national hero in 2002 after he played a starring role in Russia's first Davis Cup title in the dramatic 3-2 victory over holders France in Paris.
Youzhny, then a little-known 20-year-old, was a late replacement for former world number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov and he fought back from two sets down to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in the decisive fifth rubber.
The current world number 11 became the first player in the Davis Cup's 102-year history to win a match in the final after losing the first two sets but he now feels it is time to pass the baton on to a new generation.
"I think the time has come for me step aside and give younger players a chance," Youzhny said.
"I must say it was a tough decision to make as Davis Cup has given me a lot of great memories but also it was more and more difficult to maintain the level of performance with each year," Youzhny said.
"Now, I want to devote more time to my family and concentrate on individual tournaments."
Russia's long-serving Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev had nothing but praise for Youzhny, who also helped Russia to their second Davis Cup triumph in 2006.
"He was always a true team player, giving his all each and every time for the team," Tarpishchev said. "We will really miss him."
Russia will now face Sweden in the first round of this year's tournament without their top two players; Nikolay Davydenko is also unavailable for the March 4-6 tie in Boras.