Bogota, Colombia – Veteran Croat Ivo Karlovic captured his first ATP title in over five years with a straight-set victory over hometown favorite Alejandro Falla in Sunday's championship of the Claro Open Colombia tennis event.
Karlovic cruised through the opening set before prevailing in a tiebreaker in the next to earn a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) decision in one hour and 18 minutes on the hard courts at Centro de Alto Rendimiento.
The title was the fifth of Karlovic's career and first since Nottingham in June of 2008. The 34-year-old was competing in just his second tournament since missing 2 1/2 months due to a bout with viral meningitis.
"It was my weapons, which is volleys and serve, and I was more calm in the crucial points," Karlovic said on his key to victory.
Karlovic becomes the 11th winner on this year's ATP Tour aged 30 or over and the second-oldest champion in 2013, behind only 35-year-old Tommy Haas.
Falla, who entered the tournament ranked 122nd in the world, was making his debut appearance in an ATP title match and attempted to become the first Colombian to title since Mauricio Hadad in Bermuda during April of 1995. The 29-year-old lefty knocked off top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in Friday's quarterfinals.
"It was a great week for me," Falla said. "I take many, many positive things and I'm going to try to keep it up for the rest of the season."
Karlovic earned $115,200 for winning the inaugural edition of this event, with Falla receiving $60,700 for his runner-up finish.