Unseeded Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic made his way into the finals of Claro Open Colombia hard court tournament in Bogota without dropping a service game the whole week – today he outplayed seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa, hitting 22 aces in the process, eight more than his opponent.
One (converted) break point opportunity was the difference between the big-serving players in the opener – Anderson thus suffered a loss of serve in the third game and was unable to annul the Croat’s one break lead later in the set. There were a couple of break balls generated in the set two – one of them was defended by the South African in the seventh game, whilst Karlovic prevented his opponent wrapping up the set at 6-5 and the tie-break followed. Karlovic obtained a mini-break first, yet his rival turned the thirteenth game around and put away the second set ball. The four-time ATP title holder Croat was unstoppable on his serve in the decider as he held his service games to love all the way until 5-2 and served out the clash thanks to the sixth-game break. In the end, a 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3 victory for Karlovic who will play his first ATP final after three years, whilst his last ATP trophy dates back to 2008 when he conquered Nottingham.
The second finalist is home crowd favorite Alejandro Falla who won a three-set battle of unseeded players on the center court. The 122nd-ranked Colombian got the better of World no. 89 Vasek Pospisil of Canada and will chase his debut ATP title in the Sunday’s final. He broke first in the opener, yet his rival turned the set around and ultimately prevailed in the tie-break. Falla regrouped for the second set where he served perfectly and leveled the terms thanks to a fourth game break. He dictated the terms in the decider as well as he broke the deadlock in the opening game and gifted Pospisil no chances to peg back. The domestic player wasted the opportunity to close out the match on the opponent’s serve, but secured his Bogota 2013 final ticket straight after that – he progressed with 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4.
The 29-year-old Colombian has a 1-0 head-to-head record against Karlovic as he defeated him in the first round of Roland Garros 2008 in five sets.