Russian No. 1 Mikhail Youzhny has officially withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday morning, citing an illness that rendered him incapable of competing. Youzhny was expected to meet defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final contest but will now have his trip to the Middle East cut short due to the sickness.
The 15th ranked Youzhny has reached the final in Dubai on two separate occasions, in 2007 and 2012, finishing runner-up both times.
The world No. 2, who received a walkover following Youzhny’s withdrawal, will meet 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the semi-final round. No other ATP competitor has lifted that trophy on more occasions than those two athletes, with Federer winning the title on five different occasions, while Djokovic has notched the title on four occasions.