Klizan Saves His Best For Last In Hamburg Final

The Slovakian defeated Cuevas on Sunday

Seventh seed Martin Klizan clinched his second ATP World Tour title of 2016 on Sunday, requiring exactly one hour to record a convincing 6-1 6-4 win over third seed Pablo Cuevas in the final of the German Tennis Championships 2016 in Hamburg. 

“It’s a great feeling, an amazing feeling. I must say that I didn’t expect I could win this before the tournament started,” said Klizan. “I’m so happy that my face is going to be on that wall with all these great players! I’m very happy to be next to Miroslav Mecir Sr., who also won this tournament as well.”

The win also capped a successful return from injury for the Slovakian, who sat out for 10 weeks this spring due to a right foot injury.

“It was very frustrating months that I spent without playing tennis, without doing the gym or anything," said Klizan. "Now, I’m very fit and very proud of myself that I won another title.”

Klizan went on a five-game run to take the opening set, converting on both of his break point chances. He was particularly dominant on serve, landing 80 per cent of his first serves and winning 85 per cent of points where he got his first serve into play.

“I think I have quite a lot of weapons and my return is my secret weapon," said Klizan. "I was returning great today and put a lot of pressure on Pablo’s serves. He had a couple of games on his serve where I had no chance, but when he hit a second serve, I was trying to put the ball inside the court and put pressure. That’s why I broke his serve many times.”

The match continued to be one-way traffic for Klizan in the second set, with the Slovakian breaking Cuevas for a 3-2 lead. But World No. 24 Cuevas refused to go away quietly, breaking Klizan in the next game to level the match. Klizan broke serve once again to lead 4-3 and held on to the advantage, comfortably holding serve at 5-4 to wrap up the victory. He evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Cuevas to 1-1.

The win gave Klizan his fifth career ATP World Tour title. His other tournament win this year came at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February. The Slovakian remains undefeated in ATP World Tour finals. Klizan collected €316,000 and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts this week.

Cuevas was seeking his third ATP World Tour title of the season, having won back-to-back titles in February at the Rio Open presented by Claro and the Brasil Open. He also reached a grass-court final last month at the Aegon Open Nottingham (l. Johnson). He drops to 5-3 in ATP World Tour finals, with all five of his previous titles coming on clay. Cuevas picked up €148,400 and 300 points.