Slovakia’s Martin Klizan will put his unbeaten record in ATP finals on the line Sunday against top-seeded Dominic Thiem in the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.
Klizan is 6-0 in finals, including a 2012 win in St. Petersburg. He advanced to the championship match with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win against Stan Wawrinka. Deadlocked at 5-5 in the deciding set, Klizan broke Wawrinka with a backhand drop volley.
“Stan is one of the best players in the world. We all know it,” Klizan said. “I knew it was gonna be a very, very tough match.”
Thiem defeated fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday’s other semifinal. The Austrian delivered 15 aces while reaching his fifth final of the season.
Klizan has won all three prior meetings with Thiem, with all three matches going to three sets.
“It would mean a lot to me if I could win my first indoor title because then I’d have on every surface, which would be amazing to me,” Thiem said. “But Martin is a very tough opponent. ... I really hope I can turn the tables.”
German qualifier Matthias Bachinger advanced to his first ATP Tour final by upsetting top-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan on Saturday at the Moselle Open in Metz, France.
Ranked 166th in the world, the 31-year-old Bachinger rallied for a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory against the U.S. Open semifinalist.
He will meet Frenchman Gilles Simon in Sunday’s final. Simon advanced to his 21st career final with a 6-3, 6-1 victory Saturday against Radu Albot of Moldova.
Simon, 33, is a two-time champion in Metz (2010 and 2013). He has won both prior meetings against Bachinger, most recently in 2012 in Bucharest, Romania.
—Field Level Media