Gasquet beats Karlovic, plays Kukushkin in Kremlin Cup final in Moscow

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PinExt Gasquet beats Karlovic, plays Kukushkin in Kremlin Cup final in Moscow

gasquet11 Gasquet beats Karlovic, plays Kukushkin in Kremlin Cup final in Moscow

The Kremlin Cup 2013 final will feature top seed Frenchman Richard Gasquet (Player Profile) and 100th-ranked Kazakh player Mikhail Kukushkin (Player Profile) who overcame defending champion Andreas Seppi (Player Profile) in three sets. The unseeded Kazakh bossed his Italian rival around in the opener in which he acquired a double break cushion and went one nil up after converting the first set point. Second seed Seppi came out a different player in the set number two where he rushed to a 5-0 lead before squaring things up to force a rather unusual final set. In the decider both athletes suffered three losses of server by 5-4 when Kukushkin produced the seventh break of the set to seal a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory.

Gasquet, the only top 10 player to participate at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament, had to play near his best to defeat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic (Player Profile) in an entertaining semi-final clash. The big-serving Croat – he scored 15 aces – did not disappoint today in Moscow, yet his opponent prevailed in the crucial moments at the end of both sets. The very first break point was generated at 4-4 in the opener when Karlovic conceded a double fault – Gasquet got his nose in front after some fine display at the net and soon closed out the set by hitting an unstoppable forehand winner. In the second set the break occurred at 5-5 and the Frenchman confirmed it with some difficulties to enter his debut Moscow final by winning 6-4, 7-5 after eighty-two minutes of hard-court tennis. The 27-year old Frenchman, who is still fighting for a spot at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, was victorious in the only previous meeting with Kukushkin at the last year’s Canadian Masters.

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