Martin Klizan claimed his first title at ATP 500 level on Sunday, coming from behind to beat Gael Monfils in three sets and win the Rotterdam Open.
The Slovak showed considerable resilience to save a combined eight match points during the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and his hardy character shone through again in the final – his first decider in an indoors tournament since triumphing in St Petersburg in 2012.
The world number 43 fell behind at the start, losing the opening set as fifth-seed Monfils saved six break points before racing away in a one-sided tie-break.
The Frenchman – ranked 25 places above his opponent – had appeared on course for a sixth career title, but lost his serve in the eighth game of the second set, Klizan serving it out to force a decider.
Momentum was then firmly with the Slovak and Monfils grew increasingly dejected as the match slipped from his grasp in a chaotic third, during which he was broken in all four of his service games.
Klizan was also broken once in the final set, but was not to be denied in a 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 6-1 victory which took just under two hours.
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