HEAD racquet rebel Martin Klizan has made his first career title breakthrough defeating Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-3 to win the St. Petersburg Open. The Slovakian used his YouTek IG Prestige MP to reach his career-high ranking of 33 in the ATP World Tour ranking. He is the first first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season and the first Slovakian to win a tour title since 2004.
The 23-year-old winner came straight to the Russian indoor event from playing Davis Cup the week before. The third seed from Bratislava was playing in his first ATP final. He had won his semi-final with a defeat of fellow HEAD racquet rebel Mikhail Youzhny, playing with a YouTek IG Extreme Pro in a marathon lasting around four hours.
Klizan kept his composure and fitness to win the trophy after 69 minutes. "This is my first title but I hope it won't be the last. It was a very tough week, I played many long matches here. Yesterday, I felt totally exhausted after the Youzhny match but fortunately I was able to recover. I'm only 23 and I've said I would like to be Top 100 by the end of this year and I've already done it. Now I want to finish this season on a high and hopefully break into the top 30 by the end of the year."
Klizan, who won both of his Davis Cup matches the week before defeating Portugal, said that he just kept on going after the team event. "It's always very difficult to play a tournament after Davis Cup and I am very happy with my performances here in St. Petersburg.”