Tue, Sep 25, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Klizan beats Fognini in ATP final

AFP, ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Slovakian world No. 45 Martin Klizan captured his first ATP title on Sunday when he defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the St Petersburg Open. He is the first Slovakian to win a tour title since Dominik Hrbaty triumphed at Marseille in February 2004.

Third-seeded Klizan, who put out top seed Mikhail Youzhny in a marathon semi-final on Saturday, is set to rise to around a career-high world No. 33 in the world rankings as a result of his victory.

Until two months ago, 23-year-old Klizan had never won back-to-back tour-level matches.

However, since the end of July he has reached the semi-finals in Kitzbuhel and knocked out world No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to a fourth-round showing at the US Open.

“I said last year that I would like to be Top 100 by the end of this year and I’ve already done it,” Klizan said. “Now I’ve been Top 50, Top 40, maybe I can be Top 30 at the end of the year. I hope I can be healthy and still with enough power to play until the end of the season.”

The 25-year-old Fognini was contesting his second final having also finished runner-up to Gilles Simon in Bucharest.

“It’s horrible to play a final like this,” Fognini said. “I’ve played two finals this year. Simon in Bucharest was a really great final. On the court today he played his best tennis ever and I did not play my best tennis for sure.”

MOSELLE OPEN

AP, METZ, FRANCE

Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France thrashed fifth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday to retain his Moselle Open title.

The seventh-ranked Tsonga needed just 50 minutes to see off Seppi’s challenge, breaking the Italian’s serve four times.

Tsonga’s own serve never looked like being broken as he won 85-percent of his service points.

He won nine games in a row to take a 4-0 lead in the second set.

“I had a complete match, but I remained focused because a match is never closed against a player like that,” Tsonga said.

It is Tsonga’s second title of the year, after the Qatar Open in January, and boosts his chances of reaching the year-ending ATP finals in London.

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