CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Former University of Miami tennis All-American Michael Russell is playing in a US Open qualifier in New York City this week. Russell will face Steve Darcis of Belgium today at 11:00 a.m. on Court 7 in his Round 2 match.
Russell defeated Spaniard Enrique Lopez-Perez in straight sets in the first round of qualifications. If Russell defeats Darcis and follows it up with another victory, he will qualify for his fifth consecutive US Open and tenth of his career.
In 1997, Russell arrived in Coral Gables from Detroit as the No. 1 ranked junior tennis player in the United States. He was the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championship.
Russell finished his lone season as a Hurricane with a 39-8 singles record, including 23-2 in tournament matches and a 21-11 doubles record. He left Miami the following season to pursue a professional career.
Russell is currently ranked No. 130 by ATP and peaked at No. 60 in 2007. He has grossed over $2 million in career earnings.
The 16-year pro is a resident of Houston and has posted a 6-11 singles record this season.
Tournament play for the US Open begins Monday, Aug. 25.
Update: Russells was defeated 6-4, 6-3 by Steve Darcis, ending Russells' attempt at five-straight US Open appearances.