Mikhail Youzhny beats Golubev in Malaysian Open final

Monday, October 4, 2010
 Fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny battled back from a set down to beat eighth seed Andrey Golubev 6-7 (7-9) 6-2 7-6 (7-3) and win the Malaysian Open.

Youzhny converted four of six break-points in the course of his match but saw his own serve broken twice by the 23-year-old Kazakh, ranked 41. 

For the in-form Russian, ninth in the world and a US Open semi-finalist, it was a seventh career title. 

Youzhny is bidding for one of eight places at the ATP World Tour Finals.

So far, only world number one Rafael Nadal, Youzhny's conqueror in New York, and Roger Federer have sealed their berths at the November season-ending championships in London. 

Youzhny had been taken to three sets in every match he played this week at the Putra stadium and had to rally from a set and a double break down against Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter-finals. 

Golubev, by contrast, cruised through the week, knocking out top seed and world number five Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals for the biggest win of his career.

He took that form into the first set, in which breaks were exchanged before Golubev dug deep to win a tie-break despite trailing 6-3 at one point

Youzhny hit back with three breaks in the second set to take the final to a decider.
Though both had been fallible on serve up to that point, this time not a single break-point was to be had, and another tie-break loomed.

Golubev cracked first this time, sending a return into the net to give Youzhny a 4-3 lead.
Youzhny then held both his serves for three set points, winning the title at his first opportunity after Golubev fired a shot long and wide.

Youzhny said: It was a really tough match, a very close match. I should have won the first set.
"I was fired up for the second set and came out firing. In the third, it was quite close but I'm delighted to have won."


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