By Chris Oddo/ Sunday, October 20, 2013
Richard Gasquet strengthened his London bid by winning the Kremlin Cup title on Sunday, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Mikhail Kukushkin.
Photo Source: AP
Richard Gasquet claimed his 10th career title in Moscow on Sunday, outlasting upset-minded qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, at the Kremlin Cup.
Kukushkin was bidding to become only the second qualifier in the history of the tournament to win the title, but Gasquet engineered a late comeback from a break down in the decider to triumph in his 20th career final.
After falling behind 4-3, Gasquet rallied to notch the final three games—and the title.
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He won a lot matches recently and won Challengers," Gasquet said of his opponent. "He won seven matches here. He won against big players. For sure, I knew it would be tough because his shots are flat and very strong and he doesn’t miss much and serves well. I knew it would be a big fight for me if I wanted to win. It is a big win for me to win in three sets."
With the victory Gasquet moves into the final London qualifying slot ahead of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who lost in the semifinals at Vienna on Saturday. Gasquet’s hold is tenuous at best—he leads by only 65 points with two weeks left to go in the race.
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"I’ll try my best to qualify," Gasquet said. "Two big tournaments are coming up, including [the ATP World Tour Masters 1000] in Paris. I’ll try my best.”
Kukushkin was appearing in his second career ATP final. He won the St. Petersburg title in 2010. His record against top 10 competition drops to 1-9 with the defeat. But Kazakhstan’s No. 1 player should jump inside the top 70 from No. 102 in the world based on his final effort in Moscow.
Gasquet improved his record on the season to 48-19, and is just one win from his career best total of 49, which he achieved in 2007. His three titles in 2013 are the most he has won since 2006.