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German Tennis Championships 2016: Pablo Cuevas vs. Martin Klizan Score, Reaction

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2016

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23:  Martin Klizan of Slovakia hits a backhand during the Men's Singles first round match against Taro Daniel of Japan on day two of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Martin Klizan won his second ATP 500 title of the 2016 season on Sunday, beating Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the German Tennis Championships. Β 

The 27-year-old maintained his perfect record in ATP finals with clean, powerful tennis, taking full advantage of the struggles from the third-seeded Cuevas.

As shared by tennis writer Jake Davies, it's been quite the year for Klizan:

Jake Davies @jakedavi5

What a whirlwind year for Martin Klizan, a surprise winner at 500 level in Rotterdam, injured for months then wins Hamburg today. Amazing.

Cuevas had been arguably the most in-form player of the week at the German Championships, putting together several impressive performances to advance to the final, but on Sunday, his good form abandoned him.

Slovakia's Martin Klizan returns the ball to Japan's Taro Daniel during their men's first round match at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on May 23, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON        (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Ima
THOMAS SAMSON/Getty Images

From the start of the match, he found himself on the losing end in the rallies against the southpaw, who moved well around the court and used a nice variety of drop shots and power strokes.

Cuevas didn't play bad, but he made too many unforced errors and struggled to find the right distance with his groundstrokes, which allowed Klizan to send him all over the court. Davies noted Cuevas had nowhere to go in the rallies:

Jake Davies @jakedavi5

Klizan all over Cuevas like a rash.

Fans who were hoping for a competitive or exciting final should not have travelled to Hamburg, as Klizan dominated his opponent in the opening set. It didn't last long, via Live Tennis:

Klizan, who is still ranked 24th in the world despite his injury-stricken season and would rank far lower if not for his unexpected win in Rotterdam, continued his fine form in the second set, but Cuevas turned the match into more of a contest.

The Uruguayan, who won the Brazil Open earlier this year and even has a doubles Grand Slam title on his resume, cleaned up his play and started relying more on his serve, firing in five aces.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Pablo Cuevas of Uraguay plays a forehand shot during the Men's Singles first round match against Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club o
Julian Finney/Getty Images

But once again, he found himself on the back foot in the rallies, and his lack of efficiency continued. Cuevas gave away only four break chances during the match, but that was more than enough for Klizan, who converted every one of his chances and cruised to the win.

The key games came late in the set, as Klizan pulled away in the seventh game and pushed his advantage to his second ATP 500 title of the year and fifth career ATP title. Tennis writer Ricky Dimon noticed this odd trend:

Ricky Dimon @Dimonator

we are one Gilles Muller win in Newport away from left-handers winning ALL THREE ATP titles this week

The 2016 season has been a rough one for Klizan, but the Slovak has showed fantastic resolve to come back from injury and bag the German Tennis Championships, one of the biggest titles of his career.

It's a great omen for the final few months of his season, even if Klizan tends to play his best tennis on clay. He did beat Gael Monfils on the hard court in the Netherlands and will like his chances on some of the faster courts in the U.S.

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