Youzhny crushes Nadal's Dream
by Manish Kumar Joshi

Mikhail Youzhny of Russia won his first Chennai Open singles title upsetting top seeded and World no.2 Rafael Nadal in straight set 6-0, 6-1 at Nungambakkam stadium in Chennai. The 19th-ranked Russian defeated Croatian Marin Cilic 6-2 and 6-3 in the first semi-final and easily defeated world no.2 Nadal in the final. This is surely a set-back for Nadal just before the Australian Open.

However, Youzhny's win did not perhaps carry full credit as Nadal succumbed easily due to the ill-effect of his marathon semifinal against Carlos Moya in the second semifinal. Nadal called for medical attention trailing 1-4 in the second set and then went through the motions as Youzhny completed his fourth career title win with ease, disappointing a large holiday crowd cheering the Spaniard.

Youzhny shows a great, beautiful game of tennis. His forehand shots can sometimes deceive the opponent into misjudging their ferocity. The win against Nadal helped his confidence a lot before the first grand slam of the year.

With Nadal's shots lacking his usual power and his movements hampered, Youzhny broke him in the second, fourth and sixth games of the first set and fourth and sixth games in the second set to romp home easily. It was Youzhny's second appearance in Chennai and Nadal's third.