Youzhny prepares to slice a backhand in his season-ending loss to Gulbis in Paris
Mikhail Youzhny needed a lot of help to make the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, unfortunately he could not even live up to his own end of the bargain. The Russian lost to Ernests Gulbis of Latvia for the second straight time this year at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. Youzhny, who needed to make a run to the finals to qualify for the year-end championships, lost in his first match at a 1000-point tournament for the fifth time this year.
Just as he did in Madrid, Gulbis won at lhttp://bleacherreport.com/article/neweast 90 percent of points in which he made his first serve. Also in both matches, Youzhny percentage of second-serve points won was in the 30's. It was nothing but trouble for Youzhny, who retired at 0-3 in the second set with a back injury after losing the first set 6-4.
Youzhny faced nine break points, but was able to save six, keeping the match relatively close. He even garnered three break point chances of his own, but failed to convert any of those chances. Gulbis out-aced Youzhny 7-4 during the contest, while committing only one double fault compared to two for tenth-ranked Youzhny.
While Gulbis may get a chance to stop Andy Roddick in the next round, Youzhny ends a season where he tied his career-best ranking of No. 8 in the world just recently. He finishes with a record of 43-19 and made it to at least the quarterfinals in two of the four Grand Slams.