Martin “Klizko” Klizan’s Triumph in Hamburg Rothenbaum

Martin Klizan form Slovakia is the big winner of the German Open 2016! The number seven seed, Klizan, didn’t really give his favoured opponent, the clay court specialist from Uruguay, any chance and wrapped up the rubber in straight sets 6-1 and 6-4 after merely 59 minutes.

For the 27-year old from Bratislava a childhood dream has come true: by winning this tournament, he follows in the steps of his big idol, Miloslav Mecir, who won at Rothenbaum in 1985. Other of Klizan’s fellow countrymen on the winner list in Hamburg are Karel Novacek (1991) and Ivan Lendl (1987, 1989).

Klizan, who had especially renounced to play Davis Cup in order to play at the Hamburg event, quickly showed the 6,500 spectators on the “Centre Court of the World” that he intended to make a statement. Cuevas tried to put up some resistance with his athletic performance and tactical moves, however, the Uruguayan missed the first break chances and immediately got his comeuppance. Klizan quickly adapted to Cuevas strong serve and, thanks to his strong returns, forced the South American to do mistakes. The consequence: Cuevas, who hadn’t lost a single service game until the final lost his serve twice in a row. Cuevas’ first serve often let him down and Klizan, of course, showed why he was the best return player of this tournament. Meanwhile, Cuevas had lost the thread and the tall Slovak clinched the first set after only 25 minutes (6-1).

But the number three seed, Cuevas, tried to push the reset button und served much better at the beginning of the second set. But there seemed to be no remedy against the powerful and dominating baseline game of Martin Klizan. Cuevas thus didn’t find any efficient means and did too many avoidable mistakes. Klizan, however, completely profited from his newly won self-confidence and hardly showed any weakness in his game. Although the South American fought back and immediately levelled a break (2-3) he lost his service game to love shortly afterwards – easy come, easy go! Klizan just didn’t let the Uruguayan develop his game and was no longer to be stopped.

After 59 minutes, Klizan converted his first match point with a service winner und thus decided a surprisingly one-sided final at Hamburg Rothenbaum in his favour. The Rothenbaum winner in the red shirt was in high spirits and went to celebrate his success at the most important German clay court tournament with his team in the box.
Thus, Klizan protected his unique record on the ATP World Tour: in five finals he had left the court as the winner for the fifth time. Recently, he triumphed at the tournament in Rotterdam in February.

On the final Sunday, the tournament director, Michael Stich, summed up the event on a positive note: “A huge compliment to both finalists. We got to see tennis on a very high level. The quality of the sport is important – and it was on a very high level this week. We had another fantastic week. Rothenbaum is alive – and it will keep on living. Preferably, another 110 years. This would all not be possible without the sponsors, all the partners, without all the helpers, linesmen, volunteers. More than 800 people helped throughout the week.

The success at Rothenbaum earns Martin Klizan 500 world ranking points and a prize money of €316,000. Klizan will go up to positon number 28. Pablo Cuevas who is positioned at number 20 for the first time thanks to reaching the final will receive 200 points and a prize money in the amount of €148,400.