The indoor season kicked off without notable names. The highest ranked player to participate in the Saint Petersburg tournament, Mikhail Youzhny is currently No. 29. There was a possibility for the first time in the Open era that none player would enroll to a list of “first time winners”, but a weak field in Russia caused that as many as six players without a title advanced to quarterfinals. WhenMartin Klizan battled past Youzhny in the longest 3-set match played indoors (6-7 6-4 7-6 in 3:48 hrs, coming back from a 2:4 deficit in the 2nd set), a new maiden titelist was guaranteed. Despite five hours spent on court on Saturday (Klizan after the marathon semifinal played a doubles semifinal as well), the Slovakian player was fit enough to outplay quickly Fabio Fognini on Sunday afternoon. The 23-year-old Klizan has been a revelation of the second part of the season. Prior to Roland Garros ’12 he was a challenger level player, but has notched interesting results on all surfaces since then at the main level: he won one of the longest matches of the season at Wimbledon (grass), reached semifinal in Kitzbuhel (clay), as the only unseeded player moved through to the fourth round at the US Open (hard), now has won an indoor title. These results, plus a few good others at Challenger level, allowed him to jump from No. 117 to 33 within nine months of the year. Klizan came to Russia from his hometown Bratislava where he obtained two points for his country in a winning Davis Cup tie (Group I) against Portugal. He becomes the sixth Slovak to win an ATP title in the Open era #, the first one since 2004 (Dominik Hrbaty in Marseille).
Many top players are tired in the last quarter of a year. It’s not a case of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  who plays in Autumn often and successfully. He was a huge favorite to defend a title in Metz (besides him only Philipp Kohlschreiber appeared as a Top 20 player) and didn’t disappoint the local fans. It’s his 9th title and the easiest one, however, he lost his focus for a while in a semifinal against Nikolay Davydenko after squandering double break point in two consecutive games of the 2nd set, which cost him uncertain moments (was *3:4 down in the decider before won 6-0 3-6 6-4). In the final Tsonga was in his element destroying Andreas Seppi. The best Italians (Seppi & Fognini) sufferedextremely fast final defeats this weekend ## Gael Monfils  returned to the circuit after a 4-month injury break and reached semifinals.
St. Petersburg (250)
S: (3)Martin Klizan d. (4)Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-3
D: (1)R.Ram/N.Zimonjic d. L.Lacko/I.Zelenay 6-2, 4-6, [10-6]
S: (1)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. (5)Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-2
D: (2)N.Mahut/E.Roger-Vasselin d. (4)J.Brunstrom/F.Nielsen 7-6(3), 6-4
Choker of the week: Ivo Karlovic in Metz, quarterfinals. The Croat had five break points in the 2nd set which could be decisive against Nikolay Davydenko, in a tie-break held a match point on return and played a tentative rally from the baseline. Davydenko won 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-0.
# Slovaks to win main-level titles in the Open era (6 players):
11 – Miloslav Mecir (1985-89)
6 – Karol Kucera (1995-03), Dominik Hrbaty (1998-04)
2 – Marian Vajda (1988-89), Jan Kroslak (1995-97)
1 – Martin Klizan (2012)
* Mecir and Vajda got titles representing Czechoslovakia, Czechs and Slovaks split on 1 January 1993.
## Shortest finals of 2012:
Metz: JW.Tsonga d. A.Seppi 6-1, 6-2 – 49 minutes Los Angeles: S.Querrey d. R.Berankis 6-0, 6-2 – 52 minutes Brisbane: A.Murray d. A.Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3 – 66 minutes Bastad: D.Ferrer d. N.Almagro 6-2, 6-2 – 67 minutes St. Petersburg: M.Klizan d. F.Fognini 6-2, 6-3 – 69 minutes