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Martin Klizan saved three match points against Nicolas Mahut to secure a berth in his first 500-level final on Saturday at the ABN Amro in Rotterdam, 6-7(3), 7-6(7), 6-2.

The Slovakian’s triumph marks the second straight day that he has saved multiple match points to advance. He saved five on Friday in taking down Roberto Bautista Agut, and will face either Gael Monfils or Philipp Kohlschreiber in the final.

Saturday’s final was rife with drama as Klizan let his temper fly during the second set and actually--inadvertently--struck Mahut with a ball between points in the second-set tiebreaker (see video above). This incident, which went unnoticed by Klizan and the umpire, irked Mahut and eventually caused him to call the supervisor out for a chat after his pleas to the umpire and his attempt to address Klizan about the incident were thwarted.

Klizan, never one to shy away from tossing his racquet, did this later in the tiebreaker:




That would finally earn him a warning, but Mahut was adamant that he should have been talked to about hitting him with the ball earlier in the match. Eventually, after the first game of the third set, Mahut called for the supervisor, had a heated chat and went on with the match.

Klizan, sort of playing in his own bubble, had numerous funny exchanges during this match like this:


And after the match he broke into the “I was up the creek without a paddle and survived” celebration, one of the strangest we’ve seen in a while.

Though many expected a contemptuous post-match handshake, Mahut had cooled down by the conclusion of the match and settled for a firm handshake and a quick, non-threatening glance into the eyes of Klizan. Got all of this? If not, here's a quick recap from the Dimonator on Twitter:

For those trying to piece the story together, here is video of Mahut appealing to the umpire between the second and third sets. He made his case logically, and was frustrated that he didn’t receive an apology from Klizan.

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