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Gasquet downs Kukushkin for Kremlin Cup title

Moscow, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed Richard Gasquet rallied past Kazakhstan qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin in the final of the Kremlin Cup.

Gasquet beat Kukushkin by a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 margin to claim his third title of the year.

The 27-year-old Gasquet of France appeared in his 20th career ATP World Tour final (10-10 record) and third of the season (3-0). The only other time he won three titles in a season was in 2006.

Gasquet become the second French winner in the tournament's 24-year history. Paul-Henri Mathieu won the title in 2002.

Additionally, Gasquet is still in contention for one of the remaining four spots in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals. With Sunday's victory, Gasquet moved from 10th to ninth in the Emirates ATP Race to London standings, ahead of countryrman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"I was close to losing today. But I fought a lot," Gasquet said. "It's important for me to qualify for it. But the title here is important for me because my opponent played very well."

Ranked 102nd in the world, Kukushkin had only qualified for four previous main draws this year and lost in the first round in each of his three events before a third-round appearance at the U.S. Open. This was his first tournament since Flushing Meadows.

Kukushkin's only other final came three years ago, also in Russia. He picked up his first career title with a victory over Mikhail Youzhny in St. Petersburg.

Gasquet, who collected $134,800 with the victory, improved to 2-0 lifetime against Kukushkin.