Kukushkin wins in St. Petersburg

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:49 PM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin captured a title in his first ATP singles final, beating top-seeded Russian and former champion Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) on Sunday at the St. Petersburg Open.

In doing so, Kukushkin became the fifth first-time winner on Tour this year. The 22-year-old joins John Isner, Ernests Gulbis, Andrey Golubev and Viktor Troicki.

"For me it's just incredible, this feeling," Kukushkin said.

Youzhny, meanwhile, dropped to 2-3 in finals this year and 7-10 for his career. He lost back-to-back title matches in February, bested by Robin Soderling in Rotterdam and by Novak Djokovic in Dubai, then won a French Open tuneup at Munich in May and claimed the crown in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

"Mikhail played a perfect match today and he deserved the victory," Youzhny said. "He played better on key points and it was tough for me to concentrate while receiving in the second set."

The 10th-ranked Muscovite won this tournament in 2004 and was also the runner- up in 2002.


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