Klizan Captures Gran Canaria Crown

Martin Klizan (photo: Tennis Academy El Cortijo)

TELDE/STARNBERG, April 22, 2024

Former World No. 24 Martin Klizan has clinched the title of the Gran Canaria Men’s TDC Series Pro II held at the El Cortijo Club de Campo in Telde, the second-largest city of Gran Canaria.

In an all-lefty-final on Sunday, the 34-year-old Slovakian, who entered the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 clay-court with a wild card, outlasted Diego Augusto Barreto Sanchez of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Klizan won 78 per cent of his first-service points and broke his rival three times to secure victory in two hours and 56 minutes.

“It’s my first time competing here, and I love this island,” said Klizan, quoted by local newspaper Canarias 7. “I love the sea, and having it nearby is motivating for me. Plus, the weather is great. I live in Bratislava, and right now, the weather there is not as good. I’m very thankful to the organization for giving me a wildcard to compete here in Telde, and I’m trying to enjoy the experience and give my best. I don’t rule out coming back in the future.”

The World No. 843 clinched his sixth career title on the ITF Pro Circuit, his second of the season following his triumph in Heraklion, Greece in mid-March.

Klizan, a six-time ATP Tour champion, announced his retirement from professional tennis after Wimbledon 2021 but returned to the tour in December last year.

“Many negative things came together. Injuries, a schedule that no longer motivated me, the pandemic that revolutionized everything,” he said about the reasons for hanging up his racket and added that he came back for the love of tennis. “I missed playing, enjoying, competing, training, that lifestyle I always had.”