HurricaneSports.com is turning back the pages of the history book with weekly features on the Miami men's tennis All-Americans.
Michael Russell (1997)
Born on January 5, 1978 in Detroit, Mich., Michael Russell came to the University of Miami as the No. 1 ranked junior tennis player in the United States. As a high-school student, Russell was a member of the USTA National Tennis Team and competed in Junior Wimbledon, French Junior Open, Australian Junior Open and Italian Junior Open.
As a true freshman in 1996-97, Russell participated in the 20th annual Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championship (the third leg of the ITA Collegiate Grand Slam). On his way to becoming the first freshman to win the tournament, Russell, the No. 7 seed, defeated the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 10 players in the nation.
During his All-American freshman season, Russell set the UM singles season record with a 39-8 (.830) mark including a 23-2 (.920) record in tournament play. In addition to his singles season record, Russell posted a 21-11 doubles record. His 21 doubles victories makes him one of only 22 UM players who have surpassed the 20-victory threshold. During his record setting season, Russell recorded 22 consecutive tournament victories, including victories at Penn Conference Classic, Rolex Eastern Regional Championship and Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championship.
Russell finished the 1996-97 season ranked as the No. 7 collegiate player in the country, after being ranked as high as No. 3 during the season. Due to his outstanding freshman campaign, he was one of 10 men’s players named to the 1997 Rolex Collegiate All-Star Team, selected by the ITA and Tennis Magazine, and was selected as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Region I Rookie Player of the Year. Russell was also named BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player after leading the Hurricanes to an upset win over No. 13 Notre Dame in the championship to earn the Hurricanes’ fourth BIG EAST title in five seasons. Russell did not lose a match, singles (2-0) or doubles (3-0) in the entire tournament.
The summer prior to Russell becoming a professional, he was on the USTA All-American Summer Team, an elite training program for top college players. As a member, he won circuit events in Waco, Tulsa, Lafayette and Dallas to claim second place in the points race in mid-July.
As of October 1, 2012 Russell is currently ranked No. 103 in the ATP World Tour. In April 2012, while playing in his hometown of Houston, where he currently resides with his wife Lisa, Russell advanced to his first ATP World Tour semi-final. On August 13, 2007 he climbed to No. 60, his highest ranking. In singles and doubles play combined, Russell has surpassed the $1.5 million mark in career prize money.
|Mike Belkin||1965||Rod Mandelstam||1962-63|
|Andrew Burrow||1987||Tavo Martinez||1976|
|Pat Cramer||1968-70||Jerry Moss||1958-59|
|Luigi D'Argord||2006-07||Srjdan Muskatirovic||1994-95|
|Eddie Dibbs||1971-72||Joaquim Rasgado||1974-75|
|John Donar||1987-90||Raz Reid||1971-72|
|John Eagleton||1976-77||Ivan Rodrigo||1997|
|Conny Falk||1989||Mike Russell||1997|
|Alvaro Fillol||1975||Pancho Segura||1943-45|
|Jaime Fillol||1967-68||Christo Steyn||1982-83|
|Luis Garcia||1969-71||Carl Sundberg||2008|
|John Geraghty||1977||Daniel Vallverdu||2006-09|