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Stakhovsky Takes New Haven Title

New Haven, U.S.A.

Sergiy Stakhovsky© Getty ImagesSergiy Stakhovsky has won the title all four times he has reached an ATP World Tour semi-final.

Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky improved his perfect record in ATP World Tour finals to 4-0 after rallying to beat Denis Istomin 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the Pilot Pen Tennis title Saturday in New Haven.

Stakhovsky, who won the 's-Hertogenbosch title earlier in the year, is the first Ukrainian to win two titles in a season since Andrei Medvedev in 1994. Stakhovsky has reached just four ATP World Tour semi-finals, but each time he has pushed on to take the title.

In the first all-European New Haven final since 1998 (Kucera d. Ivanisevic), ninth-seeded Stakhovsky converted the two break points he had in the match against Istomin, who decided at the last minute to play New Haven after suffering an ankle injury the previous week in Cincinnati.

Coached by his mother, Klaudiya, Istomin was aiming to become the first player from Uzbekistan to win an ATP World Tour title. He was appearing in his first final.

Stakhovsky collected $93,360 and 250 South African Airways ATP 2010 Rankings points; Istomin pocketed $51,300 and 150 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points.

“I have no idea [why I have a perfect record in finals]," Stakhovsky said.  "I'm really happy to keep the score this way, to be able to be the winner of this match today.  As I believe everybody saw, it was really more playing on nerves. There were a lot of unforced errors. There were really a lot of good rallies, and I hope it was really enjoyable tennis we played. I have to say it definitely wasn't our best tennis from both of us.  But we were trying as hard as we could.  Definitely we were fighting for everything."

Stakhovsky, who had to win four matches in three days – including two wins Thursday as organisers played catch-up after rain – said:  “It was really an exhausting week for me.  A lot of three sets.  A lot of tie-breaks. Just a lot of time on court.  Just now I have to get myself together and get ready for the US Open. I'm really glad to win this title.  It pushed me to another level again.  But I just need to think forward again and get ready.”

Istomin said: "I'm so happy to be in the final for the first time. I'm like little bit waiting for my first win. But also it's not [going to be] my last final. I hope soon in the future I can be the winner.

"For the US Open I feel like I'm in good form. I'll try do my best there. I don't have an easy draw... but I feel like I can play good, show the good tennis."

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