Richard Gasquet strengthened his chances of making the ATP World Tour Finals by defeating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Kukushkin, an unseeded qualifier, had already disposed of seeds Andreas Seppi and Alexandr Dolgopolov, and proceeded to push Gasquet to the limit in a toughly contested final. The 25-year-old Kazakh broke Gasquet in the seventh game of the opening stanza to lay claim to the first set.
Gasquet responded by breaking twice in the second set to put himself back on level terms.
The deciding set saw Kukushkin break again to put himself in striking distance of taking the tournament. Again, Gasquet responded. This time with two breaks of his own to win three consecutive games, the set, and the title.
The tournament victory ensures Gasquet overtakes compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the race to London.
Cover Photo: Marianne Bevis, Creative Commons License