DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Top-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber claimed his fifth ATP World Tour trophy by defeating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the Duesseldorf Open final on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Karlovic fought back in the second set after Kohlschreiber went ahead 4-3. It looked like a decisive break but the seventh-seeded Karlovic took it to the tiebreaker, where Kohlschreiber let two match points go before ultimately claiming the win in 72 minutes.
“It’s simply great,” Kohlschreiber said. “It’s one of the nicest feelings in tennis to win a tournament. You don’t get the chance that often.”
It was the 30-year-old German’s first title since 2012, when he won his home tournament in Munich. Four of his five titles have been on German soil.
Kohlschreiber had lost two of his previous three meetings with Karlovic, who was playing his first clay-court event final since 2007, when he won his only title on the surface in Houston.
“I had a little issue with my back but all-in-all it was a good week,” Karlovic said.
Both players now turn their attention to the French Open, where Kohlschreiber, the No. 28 seed, faces Pere Riba of Spain and Karlovic takes on 11th-seededd Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the first round.