• Gasquet overcomes Davydenko for Doha title

    1/5/13 6:48 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Gasquet overcomes Davydenko for Doha title Richard Gasquet fights back from the brink of defeat and outlasts Nikolay Davydenko in Saturday's Doha final. It is Gasquet's eighth career ATP title.

    Richard Gasquet managed to put out Nikolay Davydenko's hot streak and it earned him the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title on Saturday. Gasquet trailed by a set and a break but eventually prevailed 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 after two hours and 30 minutes.

    Davydenko had not lost a set in the tournament nor had he even dropped serve, and he stormed out of the gates still playing like the Davydenko of yesteryear. The Russian broke right away for a 2-0 lead, held for 3-0, and had no trouble closing out the first set. Davydenko fired 14 winners to Gasquet's six in the opener.

    Gasquet appeared to be on the fast track to a disappointing runner-up finish when his opponent broke at 2-2. Davydenko had every opportunity to put the match away with another break at 4-2. Gasquet, however, fought off two break points and held to stay within striking distance.

    The seventh game of the second set turned the tide. Davydenko suddenly lost his serve for the first time all week at 4-3 and he could not recover. The 31-year-old managed to hold from there to force a tiebreaker, but he quickly fell behind 6-2. Gasquet capitalized on his third set point at 6-4 with an overhead smash.

    After saving two break points to reach deuce in game one of the decider, Davydenko abruptly took a an injury timeout for an apparent hip problem. He came back out and saved two more break points before holding for 1-0. Gasquet, though, continued to apply pressure and Davydenko errors continued to mount. Doha's No. 2 seed benefited from a backhand mistake to break for 3-2 and he delivered a perfect backhand pass to break again for 5-2.

    Gasquet failed to serve out the championship in the eighth game, but he broke once more for victory. The 10th-ranked Frenchman converted his first match point when Davydenko netted a backhand.

    "It's a big success for me," said Gasquet, who secured the eighth title of his career and second in the last three months (Bangkok). "I fight a lot. For sure I played my best tennis."

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Unbelievable effort from Gasquet!

stratocast51 , 1/5/13 7:08 PM

I don't mean for this to sound rude, but I cannot believe that Gasquet managed to hold it together after going down a break in the second. Hats off to him, that was really outstanding.

cherylmurray , 1/5/13 9:44 PM

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