Towering Croat Ivo Karlovic defeated home hope Alejandro Falla 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the final of the inaugural Claro Open Colombia in Bogota Sunday afternoon. Last week at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, the 6-foot-10 Karlovic said it was a “bonus” to be playing again after being sidelined for more than two months with viral meningitis. Karlovic made it to the quarterfinals at Newport before losing to John Isner in his first action since regaining his health. “Only happiness,” Karlovic said of today’s emotions, “that after all these injuries and illnesses I was able to be back here.” Karlovic won all 61 of his service games on the week and served 104 aces during the tournament. Today Karlovic served 16 aces, including two in the tiebreaker, and never faced a break point. The No. 122-ranked Falla, who knocked out top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals, was looking to become the first Colombian to win a tour title in 18 years. The championship trophy was Karlovic’s first since 2008 and fifth of his career. Karlovic got the only break of the match in the fourth game of the first set and closed out the opener in just 31 minutes. Falla saved three break points in the ninth game of the second set, but other than that, both players held easily to force a tiebreaker. Karlovic got the crucial mini-break at 4-4 and served it out. The match lasted just one hour and 18 minutes. “It was an unbelievable week,” the 34-year-old Zagreb native said. Ranked No. 155, Karlovic is projected to climb back into the Top 100 with the win. The key to his victory? “It was my weapons, which is volleys and serve and I was more calm in the crucial points,” he said. In a year where age is no barrier to success, Karlovic became the 11th player 30 or over to win a title this season.
Karlovic Beats Falla to Win Claro Open Colombia
Next post: Groth Serves Way Past Kudla at Citi Open