Michael Russell is remembered for making it to the round of 16 at the 2001 French Open where, entering as a qualifier, he managed to put top seed and multiple French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten in trouble to go two sets up, but then losing in five.
Eventually Kuerten won the tournament. In that year he therefore obtained his best result in a grand slam. In 2007 the same thing happened in the first round with Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open, again losing in five sets. 2007 was a golden year for Russell: at the 2007 Pacific Life Open he participated as a wild card and reached the round of 16 after also beating Tomáš Berdych.
He was then beaten by Juan Ignacio Chela. Also in 2007, after the Rogers Cup, following the achievement of a second round he obtained his best ranking: 60th place. After 2007 Russell will have a decline that will bring him down the rankings.