Michael Craig Russell is an American tennis player. Born on May 1, 1978 in Houston, Texas, Russell is known for his powerful backhands and defensive counter punchers. He began playing tennis at the age of five under the influence of his father, who was a member of the Michigan Big 10 Conference Championship team in 1965. Russell plays his best games on hard courts. Russell named NCAA Rookie of the Year and finished no. 7 in collegiate rankings in the University of Miami before he turned pro in 1998. Three years later, he finished in the top 100 for the first time. The next year proved to be even better for the American player, who compiled a 15-10 match record.
One of his most notable matches was against Gustavo Kuerten in the 2001 French Open where he held the match point in the fourth round. He also played against tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt in the 2007 Australian Open where he held two sets to love over Hewitt before losing in five sets.
He also made it to the final 16 of the Indian Wells Masters after an upset over Tomas Berdych in the second round. Russell reached a career high ranking of 60 in August 2007 after reaching round 2 of the Montreal TMS. Russell became the oldest full-time American on the ATO World Tour to place note top 100 for the third time in four years in 2010. He won the Honolulu Challenger in the same year.