Michael Craig Russell is an American tennis player who is best known for holding surprise two-set leads in Grand Slam tournaments against former Grand Slam champions on two occasions. Born to parents who are tennis coaches, Tennis is a way of life for Russell. In the 4th round of the 2001 French Open, considered as his best run at a Grand Slam tournamen, against defending and eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten. 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. The same year, he made it to the final 16 players in the Indian Wells Masters event. He reached his career highest ranking of 60 in August 2007 after reaching the second round of the Montreal TMS. Russell made his first ATP semi-final at the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas. Russell is known as a defensive counter-puncher noted for his footspeed and consistency.