Mikhail Youzhny recounts (in)famously drawing blood after hitting himself in head

Youzhny's meltdown from 2008 Miami quickly went viral.

by Dzevad Mesic
Mikhail Youzhny recounts (in)famously drawing blood after hitting himself in head
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Mikhail Youzhny says he was nervous right from the start of his 2008 Miami match against Nicolas Almagro and described himself as "crazy on the court that day" when recounting getting himself bloodied due to hitting his racket against his head.

In the 2008 Miami third round, Almagro was serving for a match at 5-4 in the third set but Youzhny had a break point. After the point finished with Youzhny making an unforced error and sending the ball into the net, the Russian pointed at his head before violently hitting himself in the head three times. Youzhny instantly started bleeding and the match had to stop so the Russian's bleeding could be stopped. 

“I’ve seen that video a 100 times, of course, people show it to me all the time (laughing). What many people don’t know is that I was very nervous from the start of that match," Youzhny told Tennis Majors.

"I don’t know why, but I was crazy that day. I was 4-0 up in the first set, then I got broken and I threw my racquet from the baseline to the chair. Following the first point of the next game, I got a code violation because I threw the ball outside the stadium."

Youzhny: My mentality changed at that moment

When the match resumed, Youzhny managed to get the break back and tie the third set to five games. The match eventually went into a tie-break - which Youzhny won - to complete a 7-6 3-6 7-6 win. Reflecting on his win, Youzhny says the incident actually helped him calm down. 

“Too many emotions, obviously, but it was a good lesson. And I won the match in the end!! I went overboard by hitting my head with the racket, but I calmed down and I won seven consecutive points afterwards. When I saw the blood – which was bad luck – I started to be quieter. That moment turned the match around, my mentality changed at that moment," Youzhny said.

Mikhail Youzhny