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Klizan tops Fognini in Russia for first title



St. Petersburg, Russia (Sports Network) - Martin Klizan of Slovakia knocked off Italy's Fabio Fognini to win the St. Petersburg Open crown for his first career ATP World Tour title.

The third-seeded Klizan earned a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in Sunday's final. He entered this week's event after a fourth-round appearance at the U.S. Open, during which he toppled French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

After taking out top-seeded Mikhail Youzhny in Saturday's semifinals, Sunday's match was much easier for Klizan. Following the nearly four-hour marathon against the Russian crowd favorite, the 45th-ranked Klizan needed only 69 minutes to down Fognini.

Klizan won the opening four games of the match to set the tone and closed the match by winning the final three games. He wound up breaking Fognini six times and had his own serve broken twice.

Fognini, seeded fourth this week, was appearing in his second final. He lost to Gilles Simon in the Bucharest title match back in April.

"It's horrible to play a final like this," said Fognini. "On the court today he played his best tennis ever and I did not play my best tennis for sure."

Klizan, the first Slovakian to win an ATP Tour event since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004, also became the first player to win his maiden title in 2012.

"I said last year that I would like to be top 100 by the end of this year and I've already done it," said Klizan. "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. I've played many, many great weeks."

Klizan earned a first prize of $70,365.

09/23 13:06:20 ET

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