Michael Craig Russell (born May 1, 1978) is a retired American professional tennis player, who is now a tennis coach.
He reached a career-high singles ranking of World No.
60 in August 2007.
His 23 United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit singles titles were the all-time record, as of November 2013.
That month he became the third-highest-ranked American in the world.
In 1994 Russell was ranked No.
1 in both singles and doubles in the USTA Boys' 16 rankings, and in 1996 he was ranked No.
1 in singles in the U.S.
Playing for the University of Miami in 1996–97, he was named National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Rookie of the Year, before he turned pro in 1997.
A high school valedictorian, Russell was one of the few Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) players while he played who had a college degree, having earned a B.S.
from the University of Phoenix with a 3.94 grade point average.
Russell struggled with knee injuries for much of his professional career.
He is perhaps best known for, on two occasions, holding surprise two-set leads in Grand Slam tournaments against former Grand Slam champions, before eventually being defeated both times.
In the fourth round of the 2001 French Open (his best run at a Grand Slam) against defending and eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten (the world's # 1-ranked player), Russell led two-sets-to love and 5–3 in the third set, and held a match point, but was defeated in five sets.
In the 2007 Australian Open, he held a two-sets-to-love lead over former U.S.
Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt, before succumbing in five sets.
Other career highlights include a fourth-round showing at the 2007 Indian Wells Masters event, a semi-final appearance at the 2012 U.S.
Men's Clay Court Championships, and wins against top-10 players Mardy Fish and Tomas Berdych.
On the Challenger Tour, he finished his career at No.
8 in match wins (276) and tied for fifth in titles (15).
Russell started Michael Russell Tennis, a private tennis coaching business in 2015.
He also has coached Frances Tiafoe, Ryan Harrison, Sam Querrey, Taylor Fritz and Mackenzie McDonald through USTA Player Development.