Kuala Lumur - In-form Mikhail Youzhny followed his US Open semi-final showing by winning the Malaysian Open on Sunday, coming from a set down to beat Andrey Golubev 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).
The Russian lost a first-set tie-break but rallied to beat his Kazakh opponent, ranked 41, who had not lost a set coming into the final, in a battle lasting more than two-and-a-half hours.
"It was a really tough match, a very close match," said Youzhny. "I should have won the first set. When you lead 6-3 in the tie-break indoors usually you should take the set.
"I came back well and I played a really good second set. In the final set it was really close. Unfortunately, when you win 7-6 in the third set in the last match, you have to be a little bit luckier than him."
The win is a major boost for fourth seed Youzhny, the world number nine, who is bidding for one of eight places at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Spain's world number one Rafael Nadal, Youzhny's conqueror in New York, and Switzerland's Roger Federer, are the only players so far to have sealed their berths at the November season-ending championships.
The victory was Youzhny's seventh career title and second of 2010 after winning on clay in Munich.
"I can't say I showed by best tennis here, although it's good when you show your best tennis and win the tournament," said Youzhny.
The Russian had been taken to three sets in every match he played this week at the Putra stadium. He had to rally from a set and a double break down against Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter-finals.
Golubev, by contrast, cruised through the week, knocking out top seed and world number five Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals for the biggest win of his career.