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Karlovic Celebrates Bogota Triumph

Bogota, Colombia

Karlovic© Claro Open ColombiaIvo Karlovic wins his fifth ATP World Tour title.

Last week in Newport, Ivo Karlovic called it a “bonus” to be playing again after being sidelined for more than two months with viral meningitis. On Sunday in Bogota, the 34-year-Croatian celebrated his first ATP World Tour title in five years as he won the inaugural Claro Open Colombia with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over home hope Alejandro Falla

“Only happiness,” he said of his emotions following the win, “that after all these injuries and illnesses I was able to be back here.”

Karlovic won all 61 of his service games and served a total of 104 aces during the tournament. The former World No. 14, who earns $115,200 and 250 Emirates ATP Ranking points, is projected to climb from No. 155 back into the Top 100 with his victory.

“It was an unbelievable week,”  he said upon receiving the trophy. “Everybody was really nice. I would like also to congratulate Alejandro for an unbelievable week and I would like to thank all the fans and sponsors. I hope I will be here next year.”

Read: Karlovic – “I Didn’t Know My Name”

Contesting his first final in three years, Karlovic won the opening set in 31 minutes after securing the only break in the fourth game. He was unable to capitalise on his three break points in the second set, but sealed the tie-break with two aces, taking his total for the final to 16. 

He said of the key to his victory: “It was my weapons, which is volleys and serve and I was more calm in the crucial points.”

Karlovic improves to a 5-3 mark in ATP World Tour finals, adding to his three titles in 2007 and the grass-court crown in 2008 at Nottingham. He becomes the 11th winner aged 30 and over on the ATP World Tour this season. 

Falla, the first Colombian to reach a tour-level final in two years, had knocked out top seed Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals. He was looking to become the first Colombian titlist since Mauricio Hadad in Bermuda in April 1995.

“It was a great week for me,” said the 122nd-ranked Falla. “The challenge was to reach the final and win matches, and I lost a tough final. Ivo was serving unbelievable. I tried my best every time. I take many, many positive things and I’m going to try to keep it up for the rest of the season.

“I have to be ready for next year. I think the challenge is to win a title here. I have the chances to do it, and I feel comfortable playing here in the altitude with my people, my friends and my family. So it was a great tournament overall and I’m really happy about the final.”

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