Just call him Doctor Youzhny from now on. The man who once drew blood after hitting himself on the head with a racquet, Mikhail Youzhny, just earned him PhD in Philosophy from the University of Moscow.
“I took my coach (of 17 years), Boris Sobkin, and my family and friends as well, and the guy who helped me with the degree,” Youzhny told ATPtennis.com. “There were some professors from the university there. I was a bit nervous because it was something new, it’s not like a tennis match I’m going to play, which I do every week. I was answering questions and reasoning, so of course it’s different. But actually, when I think about what I said, it’s my life, what I’m doing every day on court.”
The 29-year-old Youzhny began studying for the degree in 2005 but with travel and tennis demands, it would be a long journey.
“I didn’t mind if it took 5, 6, 7, 8 years, when I had some free time I could do it slowly,” explained the Muscovite, who reached a career-high of World No. 8 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings in the midst of his studies in January 2008. “I feel good because I took the time to do what I wanted to do, I finished it, and I’m happy with that.
“I didn’t work on the degree when I was at tournaments, but when I came back to Russia I would work on my degree and write about how I see situations: how I feel and explain how I feel about the attitude of tennis, the plusses and minuses, why you have to do certain things.”
The Russian finished 2011 ranked No. 35 highlighted by a fourth round loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon. He’ll open his 2012 in Doha in two week.
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