Article

Klizan to face Thiem in St. Petersburg final, Bachinger shocks Nishikori

22 September 2018 19:13

Martin Klizan will face Dominic Thiem in the St. Petersburg Open final after beating Stan Wawrinka, while Kei Nishikori's long wait for a title goes on following a stunning defeat to Matthias Bachinger in Metz.

Klizan had never beaten Wawrinka in three attempts, but the Slovakian came from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 7-5 on Saturday.

The unseeded Klizan was broken in the opening game of the first semi-final, but claimed the only break of the second set to force a decider.

There was not much in it in the final set as Wawrinka got back on serve at 3-3, only for 2012 champion Klizan to break again for a 6-5 lead and serve out the match.

Left-hander Klizan has won all six finals he has featured in - including one at the Generali Open last month - but Thiem will be the favourite to take the title.

The top seed knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut, winning 6-4 6-3 to move one victory away from a third tournament triumph of the year.

World number eight Thiem had also lost all three encounters with Bautista Agut, yet it was a different story this time around as he served superbly and broke once in each set to reach his first hard-court final for two years.

Nishikori's hopes of claiming a first tour-level title since 2016 were ended by 166-ranked German Bachinger at the Moselle Open.

Bachinger defied the odds to reach his maiden final at the age of 31, winning 2-6 6-4 7-5, and will come up against home favourite Gilles Simon - who saw off Radu Albot 6-3 6-1.

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