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Youzhny Ends Title Drought; Wins Zagreb Double

Zagreb, Croatia

Youzhny© PBZ Zagreb IndoorsMikhail Youzhny improved to 4-0 against Lukas Lacko Sunday.

Third seed Mikhail Youzhny captured his eighth title on Sunday, dismissing first-time ATP World Tour finalist Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-3 in the PBZ Zagreb Indoors final. He followed up his singles victory by partnering Marcos Baghdatis to the doubles crown to become the first double winner this season.

The Russian did not face a break point in the match, winning 75 per cent of his service points. He broke the 97th-ranked Lacko three times, and served out the match at love to end a 16-month title drought dating back to his Kuala Lumpur triumph in 2010. "It feels really good, as it was my best match of the tournament, and that’s why I won today," said Youzhny. "It’s tough to compare my level today with previous years, it’s impossible. But for sure today was my best tennis of the week."

With the win, Youzhny remained undefeated against the Slovakian, defeating the 24 year old for the fourth time. He is now 8-10 in title matches, with four of his final victories coming on indoor hard courts. "I don’t want to think about my ranking. If I keep playing well, my ranking will come," stated Youzhny. "I’m just enjoying my game at the moment, that’s it. It’s a nice atmosphere in Zagreb, I feel comfortable here and really enjoy this tournament."

Lacko was bidding to beat his fourth straight seeded opponent, having knocked off No. 2 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr., seventh seed Robin Haase and No. 6 seed and 2007 champion Baghdatis en route to the final. "I was down 1-2 in the first set. I had an easy forehand winner down the line, and I missed it," recalls Lacko. "It was a crucial moment as he broke me that game, and he started to play too good. He was reading me well, so I didn't have control in the [match]."

Added Lacko, "I wasn't nervous. I didn't play my best. He was just too good today. If I take my four matches before, I was the one applying pressure, attacking most of the shots. Today was the opposite. I was under pressure."

In the doubles final, Youzhny and Baghdatis rolled past wild cards Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 6-2, 6-2 in just 52 minutes. The Cypriot and Russian won 24 of their 26 first serve points, and broke the Croatians twice in each set to seal the victory.

Baghdatis takes home his first doubles trophy in his second title match, while Youzhny celebrates his ninth win in 12 finals. Both Dodig and Pavic were contesting their first doubles final. "It's been a pleasure to come back here to play this week," said Baghdatis. "I was last here in 2007 and it's been great to be back. Thanks to everyone for making it a great week, and Mischa for playing with me. Congrats to him on a great tournament."

Prior to Youzhny, the last player to win both the singles and doubles events at an ATP World Tour event was Andy Murray, who pulled off the feat at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in 2011, partnering his brother Jamie Murray.

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