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Gasquet Cools Off Davydenko For Doha Title

Doha, Qatar

Gasquet© AFP/Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet won his eighth ATP World Tour title.

World No. 10 Richard Gasquet overcame a set and a break deficit to defeat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final on Saturday in Doha. 

“I'm really happy with the way I played and fought,” said Gasquet. “He was playing fast in the first set. I just try to keep focused and to fight a lot, and I did it. I’m really happy with the way I won. It's important for me to win the final.”

The victory marks Gasquet’s eighth ATP World Tour title and his third hard-court triumph. He is the fourth Frenchman to win the title, joining Fabrice Santoro (2000), Nicolas Escude (2004) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2012). He earns $180,600 and 250 Emirates ATP Ranking points.

Davydenko, the 2010 champion, looked to be in command, holding a 6-3, 4-2 lead and two break points. But Gasquet managed to recover and Davydenko was then broken for the first time in the tournament. After levelling the match, the second-seeded Gasquet went on to break the Russian three times in the final set to prevail in two and a half hours. He improved to 4-2 against Davydenko in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“I think I was a little bit fresher than him in the third set, but he was playing so fast [that] he could break me in the second game in the third [set], so [anything] could happen,” Gasquet said. “He could win, too. We were so close together, so it was a big match, a big fight.”

The 31-year-old Davydenko was bidding to win his first title since 2011, when he was victorious at the BMW Open in Munich. He dropped to a 21-7 record in tour-level finals. The former World No. 3 upset fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny and fifth-ranked David Ferrer en route to the title match.

“I tried to concentrate, but I did some mistakes and already it was tough,” said Davydenko. “The third set, again [I was] trying, but my legs [were} not moving good. He played very well. Physically, he [was] much better.”

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