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Youzhny Wins Ninth Title In Gstaad

Gstaad, Switzerland

Youzhny© Valeriano Di Domenico/Fresh FocusMikhail Youzhny won his ninth ATP World Tour title.

World No. 33 Mikhail Youzhny became the first Russian champion in 18 years at the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad on Sunday. The Moscow native lifted his ninth ATP World Tour trophy as he defeated Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

It is the 12th time this year that a player aged 30-over has won an ATP World Tour title. The 31-year-old Youzhny captured his first trophy since February 2012, when he was victorious at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors (d. Lacko). He has a 9-11 record in finals. Yevgeny Kafelnikov was the last Russian to conquer Gstaad in 1995.

"I'm very happy," said Youzhny. "When you win a tournament, it doesn't matter how you've played or who you beat. My last title was at the start of last year in Zagreb, so it's been quite long. I'm trying everything to try and play more consistently at a high level."

Former World No. 8 Youzhny earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €74,000. He had saved three match points to beat Juan Monaco in the quarter-finals before defeating Victor Hanescu in straight sets in the semi-finals. 

He needed 68 minutes to get past Haase, converting his third match point. The right-hander broke serve twice and won 76 per cent of his service points. Youzhny improved to a 5-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Haase, having also beaten the Dutchman last month in the Wimbledon first round.

"When you see the score, it looks easy, but it wasn't," said Youzhny. "It was only one break in each set and I didn't have many chances to break him again. The last game on my serve was also very close."

The No. 57-ranked Haase was bidding for his third ATP World Tour crown, having won back-to-back titles at the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel in 2011-12. He now looks to defend his title at the Austrian ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament in a field that features Philipp Kohlschreiber, Juan Monaco and Fernando Verdasco.

"I didn’t feel well last weekend and had some problems with my knee which was pretty swollen. And now I’m here as the runner-up and that’s great," said Haase. "I think that the altitude fits my game and that I can handle it well. It’s tough to play against Mikhail. He’s a great player and I never beat him.

"I want to thank my new coach, Marcos Gorriz. We started in December and made some changes. I was struggling a bit in the beginning, but now it’s working well and I’m sure that we’ll have more success in the coming years." 

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