Kukushkin wins first ATP championship

Oct. 31, 2010 at 12:00 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Mikhail Kukushkin claimed his first ATP title Sunday with a straight-set victory over Mikhail Youzhny at the St. Petersburg Open tennis tournament in Russia.

Kukushkin, ranked 88th in the world and appearing in his first ATP final, upended the world No. 10 Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) on the strength of four service breaks.

The first two breaks gave Kukushkin the first set but he needed both in the second set to force the tie-breaker. He took the advantage on the second point, winning off Youzhny's serve and consolidated that by taking another point from Youzhny to go up 5-2 and held serve from there for the match.

Youzhny fell to 7-10 in career ATP finals. He is 2-3 in title matches this year.

Kukushkin's first-place check of $113,600 nearly doubled his 2010 earnings total. Youzhny took home $59,900, which pushed him to more than $1.6 million for the year.

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