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First-Time Winner Guaranteed In Fognini vs. Klizan Final

St. Petersburg, Russia

Klizan© Sergey NavetnyMartin Klizan celebrates reaching his first ATP World Tour final.

A first-time winner on the ATP World Tour is guaranteed Sunday when Fabio Fognini takes on Martin Klizan in the final of the St. Petersburg Open.

World No. 53 Fognini defeated Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 6-4 in the first of Saturday’s semi-finals. The fourth-seeded Italian broke serve three times and won 75 per cent of points behind his first serve to claim victory in 79 minutes.

The 25-year-old Fognini is through to his second ATP World Tour final, having finished runner-up to Gilles Simon on clay earlier in the season at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest. The right-hander has a 22-19 match record on the season, having also reached the quarter-finals of the AEGON International in Eastbourne (l. to Roddick).

The 23-year-old Klizan held off top seed and 2004 champion Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(11), 6-4, 7-6(3) in a match lasting just under four hours. The Slovakian squandered the opportunity to serve out the match at 5-3 in the decider, but held his nerve in the tie-break to reach his first final.

Klizan is at a career-high World No. 45 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after a breakthrough run at the US Open, which saw him beat the No. 6-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to the fourth round (l. to Cilic). Earlier in the season he was also a semi-finalist in Kitzbuhel (l. to Haase) and has won four ATP Challenger Tour titles.

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