ROTTERDAM, February 14, 2016
Martin Klizan captured the biggest title of his career, as he rallied from a set down to defeat fifth seed Gael Monfils 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 in Sunday’s final of the ATP 500 ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, held in Rotterdam‘s Ahoy Arena with a total financial commitment of €1,722,820.
The left-hander from Slovakia saved five match points to upset sixth seed Roberto Bautista-Agut in the quarterfinals and fended off three match points to in a hard-fouth semi-final win over Nicolas Mahut.
Klizan withstood 12 aces in the final, hitting seven of his own and converted five of his 16 break point chances to prevail in just under two hours of play. Klizan appeared in his fourth ATP final, winning his previous three in St. Petersburg 2012, Munich 2013 and Casablanca 2015.
“I cannot believe that it happened. It was my dream to be on the board with these unbelievably great players. It’s an amazing feeling. Every day I was just fighting. Most of the time I had three-hour matches every day, so the only thing I could do was fight. In the end I saved so many match points. I still cannot believe it,” Klizan told afterwards, taking away €363,400 in prize money as well as 500 ATP ranking points.
“In tennis you play best-of-three or best-of-five, so there is always the chance to win the match. So I just tried to fight until the last point and it was a good option.
“This is the best result in my career so far. I’m very, very proud of it. Also in our country, maybe I can be a motivation for the young players. I’m very happy for that.”
The 29-year-old Monfils was bidding to win his sixth ATP World Tour title and drops to 5-18 finals record. The Frenchman’s last title came two years ago against Richard Gasquet in the 2014 Montpellier final.
“Martin played a very good match. I think he just played a brilliant match today, better than me, so well done to him. I had good matches, but still it’s tough to lose in the final,” said Monfils.
Nicolas Mahut and Vasek Pospisil captured their first ATP World Tour doubles title together as they defeated Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-4 in the doubles final after one hour and 18 minutes.
The 34-year-old Mahut captured his 11th tour-level doubles title. It is his second victory in Rotterdam, having lifted the trophy in 2014 with countryman Michael Llodra. The 25-year-old Pospisil won his sixth ATP World Tour doubles crown.
“It’s my second 500 title and my second time here, so I think it’s a great tournament for me. I’m really proud of the week and I’m really happy to share it with Vasek; he’s a really good guy. We were a little bit disappointed last year to lose in the first round. This year we tried again and we’re really happy to hold the trophy,” Mahut told.
“We played a really good match. We didn’t make any mistakes and we didn’t give them too many looks on our service games, which was key. We were serving well and putting a lot of pressure on them. Obviously, it helps to have a great partner so I think I got lucky there as well this week! We’re thrilled we got the win today,” added Pospisil.