BIO

Michael Russell Timeline
  • Turned professional in 1998
  • In 2001, first player to qualify into all four Grand Slam events consecutively
  • As a qualifier reached the round of 16 at the 2001 French Open holding match point against eventual champion world #1 Gustavo Kuerten
  • Missed the entire 2003 and most of 2004 seasons recovering from bi lateral knee surgeries
  • Reached the round of 16 at the 2007 BNP Paribas Indian Wells event defeating top 10 player Tomas Berdych
  • Reached a career high ranking of ATP #60 in the world in 2007
  • Missed 9 months in 2008 with a torn labrum and rotator cuff tear
  • Reached first ATP Doubles Final at the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open
  • Reached the Semi-Finals of three ATP World Tour events on three different surfaces: 2012 U.S. Men’s Claycourt Championships, 2013 International
  • Tennis Hall of Fame Grass Court Championships, and the 2014 U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships
  • Holds the all-time record 23 USTA Pro Circuit Singles Titles
  • Has won 15 ATP Challenger Singles Titles which is tied for fifth all-time
  • Has competed on Center Court at all four Grand Slams
  • Has competed in 34 Main Draw Singles Grand Slams and 115 Main Draw Singles ATP World Tour events
  • Ranked in the top 100 for the majority of 17 year career including five straight years over the age of 30
  • Notable wins include Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Mardy Fish, James Blake, Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov, Ivo Karlovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Nicolas Almagro, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, Fabio Fognini, Donald Young
  • Has competed against top 5 players Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and David Ferrer among others
  • 1996 – 1997 Played #1 singles for the University of Miami, FL
  • First Freshman since 1986 to win 1997 Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
  • Named 1997 NCAA Rookie of the Year and an All American
  • Finished #7 in 1997 ITA collegiate rankings
  • 1994 USTA Boys 16 Singles National Ranking – #1
  • 1994 USTA Boys 16 Doubles National Ranking – #1
  • 1996 USTA Boys 18 Singles National Ranking – #1
  • Member of 1995 World Champion Sunshine Cup Team
  • University of Phoenix – Bachelor of Science: Business Administration, Honors 2012
  • University of California, Berkeley Online Extension – Business, 2004
  • University of Miami, FL Coral Gables, Florida – Business, 1996-1997
  • Commentator for ESPN/Direct TV at US OPEN 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021
  • Commentator for Tennis Channel at US Men’s Claycourt Championships 2017
  • Head Speaker at the HTA NJTL Gala – fundraiser for the National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter 2018
  • Volunteer tennis coach for the University of Michigan Men’s Tennis Team at 2008 NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • ATP Player Representative and Speaker for the 2014 ATP Americas Tournament Director Conference and Workshop in Cincinnati, Ohio
2022 to present – Private Coach of ATP Pro Taylor Fritz (Career High #12 World Ranking)

  • 2022 Indian Wells Masters 1000 Champion
  • 2022 Eastbourne ATP 250 Champion
  • 2022 Wimbledon Quarterfinalist

2017 to 2022 – USTA Player Development National Coach

  • Coached Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren, Mackenzie McDonald, Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison

2021 –  Coached Taylor Fritz

  • 2021 Paris Rolex Masters 1000 Quarterfinalist
  • 2021 St.Petersburg Open ATP 250 Finalist
  • 2021 Miami Open Masters 1000 4th Round

2020 – Coached Tennys Sandgren and Mackenzie McDonald

  • 2020 Australian Open Quarterfinalist (Sandgren)

2019 – Coached Tennys Sandgren and Mackenzie McDonald

  • Career high ranking for McDonald ( #57 in April, 2019)
  • First ATP 250 Semifinal at Delray Beach – def. World #4 Juan Martin del Potro (McDonald)
  • 2019 US Open 3rd Round (Sandgren)

2018 – Coached Ryan Harrison and worked with Taylor Fritz, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock

  • 2018 Brisbane International ATP 250 Finalist (Harrison)
  • 2018 Australian Open 3rd Round (Harrison)
  • 2018 Chengdu ATP 250 Semi-Finalist (Fritz)

2017 – Coached Frances Tiafoe

  • Career High Ranking for Tiafoe (#60 in July, 2017)
  • First Top 10 win at Cincinnati Masters 1000 def. World #7 Alexander Zverev

2017 – Director of Houston High Performance at the Houston Racquet Club

2015 to present – Owner of Michael Russell Tennis

  • Have developed and coached students helping them to attain college scholarships, win national and state championships and achieve their goals

Michael grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended a private high school, where he even played high school tennis including winning the State Championships. Growing up, Michael was fortunate to be able to practice with several ATP Professionals and his father, a tennis club owner and coach, which helped in his development.  After winning the USTA Boy’s 16 Nationals in Singles and Doubles in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Michael achieved the year end #1 Ranking in Singles and Doubles.  Weighing the options to turn professional or attend a university, he committed to play at the University of Miami, Florida on a full scholarship, after turning down several offers to play at Ivy League Schools. At the time Michael finished his freshman year with the best single season singles record of any player in University of Miami history, including winning the Rolex National Indoor Championships and being named Rolex National Rookie of the Year.  Michael turned professional in 1998, and after two and half years on tour he broke into the top 100 in the world after reaching the fourth round of the French Open. Throughout his 17 year career, he overcame three career threatening knee surgeries, a torn labrum and rotator cuff, a broken arm, a bulging disc, pulmonary blood clots,  multiple ankle sprains, and numerous muscle strains.   Most athletes would have walked away from the sport with all of the adversity faced, however Michael’s perseverance and determination is unmatched by most.  He played in 34 Main Draw Singles Grand Slams, 115 Main Draw ATP Singles Events, he holds the all-time record for Men’s USTA Singles Circuit Titles, and is on the top 10 List of Most ATP Singles Challenger Titles. He defeated many players in the ATP World Tour top 10 Rankings including Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Mardy Fish, James Blake, and Lleyton Hewitt. Michael played against numerous ATP World Ranked #1’s (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Marcelo Rios, Gustavo Kuerten) and competed on the Stadium Court at all four Grand Slams including Night Match at both the US Open and Australian Open as well as opening the Wimbledon Championships. Michael currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, Lilly.