By Florian Heer
(May 3, 2014) MUNICH – Top-seed Fabio Fognini and qualifier Martin Klizan clashed in Sunday’s final at the BMW Open by FWU AG to crown a new champion. The pair met for the fifth time on the ATP World Tour with the Italian leading the head-to-head record 3-1 before the day’s encounter. The only time the Slovakian world No. 111 beat Fognini was in his only previous final in St. Petersburg in 2012 lifting his maiden trophy.
In sunnier and warmer conditions compared to Saturday, the match started with three breaks in a row giving the Italian a 3-1 lead. Fognini took the opening set after only 27 minutes in the eighth game. Klizan seemed to be injured and took a toilet break during changeover. From then on the 24-year-old Slovakian found his rhythm, cruised past the second set by hitting a couple of strong forehand baseline winners. The Italian was annoyed by his game and even received a point penalty after his second warning for breaking his racket. Klizan remained calm as well as focused and eventually served the match out winning 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 28 minutes. The qualifier claimed his second title on the ATP World Tour.
“After Monte Carlo and Barcelona I was a little bit physically down but overall I think this was a good week for me here. I played the final and I feel to be in a good shape with a lot of big tournaments coming up like Madrid and Rome Masters as well as Roland Garros,” Fognini said. “I think that Martin made a bit of a show out of his injury today. I don’t know if it disturbed me or not, actually this is not my problem. I congratulate him because he won the tournament but by the end of the year we will see how many matches he is going to win like this,” the Italian was also a bit upset afterwards but wants to focus on his next tournaments now.
“The final was crazy today but I think it was a great match from both sides,” Klizan said. “After the first set I thought that if he breaks me now, it’ll be time to retire because I don’t want to act like a clown on court. My stomach was cramping all the time. I was also very tired. I had to play a lot of matches during the week coming from the qualification and I didn’t sleep very well last night. Nonetheless, I fought until the end of the match. After I had taken two pills against cramping, I played very well today, tried to kill every ball and in the end I was on fire,” the Slovakian explained.
“Of course he felt that anything was wrong with me. This wasn’t easy for him either because you never know what will happen with your opponent but this wasn’t any show. It’s a final, you cannot do a show,” Klizan told about the seriousness of his injury. “I going to have one week off now, then I try to get into the qualification of the Masters in Rome,” the world number 111 said about his further plans.
Earlier the day Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins were contesting their first ATP World Tour final as a team in 23 months when they took on Jamie Murray and John Peers for the title. The British pair entered the draw by protected ranking and made an impressive run in Munich reaching the final without dropping a set in their only second ever tournament together on clay. Today, however, the third-seeded Australian-British combination was the more solid tandem. Murray and Peers took their first title of the season winning 6-4, 6-2 in 65 minutes.
“It’s nice to be back in a final. We had a great week here in Munich. It’s one of the best ATP 250 events on the calendar and I would also like to thank my partner Ross. It’s nice to have him back on court,” Fleming said. “It’s a real honour to be in a final again and we enjoyed this week here in Munich,” Hutchins added.
“We had a great week, it is a fantastic tournament and we had a lot of fun here. Obviously, it’s nice to win the title, although it was against our friends today. It’s also a great thing to see Ross back on court,” Murray was happy lifting their first trophy in 2014 after the team lost in the semi-finals in their last two tournaments in Casablanca and Bucharest.
“Between 33.000 and 34.000 spectators attended the matches this week here. It was an exciting tournament with great tennis to watch. We had eight players out of top 30, which is an extraordinary field for a tournament of our category comparing it internationally throughout the year,” tournament director Patrick Kühnen was satisfied with the week in Munich.
“This year’s edition concludes today but we already are looking forward to 2015,” organiser Michael Mronz added. “This will be really special for us, as the tournament will celebrate its 100-years existence. The club MTTC Iphitos is one of the founding members of the ATP World Tour 25 years ago. And from tomorrow on, there are 360 days for us to develop new ideas and improve our tournament continuously hopefully celebrating a great anniversary next year,” Mronz concluded.
Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit! Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.