HAMBURG, July 17, 2016
Martin Klizan captured the title of the German Open Tennis Championships 2016, cruising past third seed Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4 in a sunny Sunday final.
The world number 47 from Slovakia became the first man this week to break the Uruguayan’s serve, capitalizing on all of his four chances. Klizan won 84% of his first service points to prevail in only 59 minutes.
“The key was to make pressure on his service which I think I did a couple of times very good. There were a couple of games I didn’t even have one chance to break his serve, as he was serving quite well. But when I got the chance I was trying to use the opportunity and took his serve. I am so happy to win my second ATP 500 title,” the 27-year-old was pleased with his performance.
Klizan also clinched the title in Rotterdam in February, but was forced to retire three times this year: in Sydney with a left shoulder injury, in Indian Wells with a right foot inflammation and in Roland Garros due to neck pain.
“I have been injured for three months. I didn’t even touch the ball, didn’t do any gym, nothing. So, I was just lying on the couch,” he told with a smile. “It were very frustrating months I spent. Now, winning my second title of the season is just amazing and I hope I can continue like this.”
It was the fifth ATP career title for the Slovakian, who emerged victorious from all five title matches he appeared in.
“There is no secret. Every final you play is different. It does not matter if you play guys of the top 10 or of top 100. I am just trying to focus on my game. I have never been nervous about playing a final. That’s maybe a little advantage I have that I am not scared.”
Klizan chose to play the ATP 500 event this week over the Davis Cup.
“It was a tough decision. Our captain Miloslav Mecir told me that I do not need to play Davis Cup and that I can play in Hamburg but I need to win the trophy. He won here in 1985 and I am very proud to sign my name on the trophy here as well. The team is leading 2-0, so it seemed to be a good choice.”
The Slovakian is a talent for languages, speaking Slovak, English, Czech, Polish, Croatian and some Russian. When he was asked about his German skills he said:
“I was learning German two years in high school but the only tense I know is the present simple,” he laughed.
Klizan as well as runner-up Cuevas will next play the Croatia Open in Umag.
“A lot of things were missing today, as I think that I played my worst match of the week. I don’t know a particular reason for that, as I feel physically fit. I did a lot of mistakes but my opponent played really well today,” Cuevas had to admit. He will be the top seed in Istria, reaching a career high number 20 on Monday.
“I do not know when I have to start in Umag, maybe on Wednesday or Thursday. So I am looking forward to a couple of days to relax.”
Kontinen and Peers claim doubles title
Earlier the day, Henri Kontinen and John Peers claimed their third doubles title of the season, winning 7-5 , 6-3 over Daniel Nestor and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. The encounter lasted 68 minutes.
“It was tough match today. Thanks to my partner for having another successful week,” Peers told after the final. “This was my third year in a row in Hamburg and I will be back here next year.”
Here is the match point: