Martin Klizan of Slovakia stormed to take his first ATP title as he overcame Italy’s Fabio Fognini in today’s final at the St. Petersburg Open, winning in straight sets 6-2 6-3.
This was also the first meeting between the two players, with only 8 places separating them in the rankings (Klizan is currently world no. 45, whereas Fognini is 53rd).
The Slovak player has had a very successful year so far, reaching the US Open 4th round (beating Tsonga on the way) and the Kitzbuhel semifinal (lost to Haase) were his top results going into this tournament. He has also managed to capture four ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2012.
For the Italian, this was his second career final on the ATP Tour after being a runner-up at this year’s Bucharest Open, where he lost to Gilles Simon.
Klizan had to literally battle his way into today’s final, beating top seed Mikhail Youzhny in yesterday’s semis in a marathon match that lasted just under four hours. The scoreline says it all: 6-7 (11) 6-4 7-6 (3), while Fognini advanced after a slightly more one sided encounter against the Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-4.