DELRAY BEACH, Feb. 28 (AP) — Ernests Gulbis of Latvia upset second-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday to win his first career title at the Delray Beach International Championships.
The 72nd-ranked Gulbis, who never dropped a set all week, should move into the top 40 in the rankings this week.
Karlovic, ranked 33rd, couldn't get his trademark serve in gear on his 31st birthday, losing serve in the fifth and seventh games of the first set and the third and ninth games of the second. He fought off three match points on serve with aces in the final game but hit two double faults on the final two points to surrender the match.
Gulbis is the second player of the year to win a title in his first finals appearance. American John Isner won the Auckland title in his first trip to a final last month.
Gulbis saved two break points in the fourth game and never dropped his serve in eight games in the match. He won 45 of 48 games he played this week en route to the title.
Defending doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan moved into second place on the Open Era titles list, winning their 58th career title earlier Sunday.
The Bryans beat Philipp Marx of Germany and Igor Zelenay of Slovakia 6-3, 7-6 (3) to snap a tie with Peter Fleming and John McEnroe, and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan.
The Bryans are four titles away from surpassing the record of 61 held by Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.
The American brothers also captured their 600th career doubles victory in their Delray Beach semifinal match on Saturday.
The Bryans have won eight career Grand Slam doubles titles. The latest came last month when they won their fourth Australian Open title in the past five years.
Next up for the brothers is first-round Davis Cup action against Serbia to be played in Belgrade next weekend.