Born in Volgograd, Mikhail Kukushkin turned pro in 2006 and achieved his highest ranking (58) on 1 November 2010.
In 2009, he came through qualifying to reach the main draw of a Masters Series 1000 tournament for the first time at the Miami Masters. He beat Tommy Haas in the first round, but lost to Dmitry Tursunov in the second round.
In September 2010, during the Davis Cup play-offs, he notably beat Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka. His good form continued, later reaching and winning his maiden ATP World Tour title, as he beat Mikhail Youzhny in the final of the St. Petersburg Open, 6-3 7-6.
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