Former champion Mikhail Youzhny, ranked 15 in the world, has confirmed his participation in the Aircel Chennai Open to be held here from December 30.

When The Hindu asked Youzhny why he chose Chennai over Doha, he said “I prefer this tournament, because it is easier for me to play in India instead of Doha. I practice in December in Thailand. So it is closer and similar weather. Also I like the tournament.”

Champion in 2008, when he beat Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1 in the final, the Russian is now among the top-ranked players to be participating at the Chennai Open that boasts of top names such as World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 16 Fabio Fognini, and No. 26 Benoit Paire among others.

Youzhny will be keen to add one more to his kitty on his second visit to the city.

Productive year

He has had a very impressive year that started with a 400th career ATP World Tour-level singles in Doha, becoming the ninth active player to achieve the feat.

Soon, he became the first Russian champion in 18 years at Gstaad.

Reaching the US Open quarterfinals for the third time this year has boosted Youzhny’s confidence. “While I feel that I did not do bad job, I do not have the euphoria of success because I always want to do better.

“As far as I know, there are only two players in the ATP Tour, who have finished all years since 2002 in the top 50. I am fortunate to share that honour with Federer! I think it is not that bad,” he said talking about the year that has gone by.

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