Kohlschreiber tops Karlovic for Dusseldorf crown

 

The Sports Network

Dusseldorf, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany continued his strong play on home soil, beating Ivo Karlovic for the title at the Dusseldorf Open.

The top-seeded Kohlschreiber earned a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory in Saturday's final for his fifth career ATP World Tour title. Four of those have come in Germany. He also won the 2011 crown in Halle and captured the Munich title in 2007 and 2012.

"I play some of my best tennis in Germany, where I have great support," said Kohlschreiber. "The crowd gave me extra motivation and helped me when I got nervous."

After Karlovic won the first game of Saturday's match, Kohlschreiber ripped off the next five on the way to capturing the first set in a mere 28 minutes. The two exchanged breaks of serve in the second set before Kohlschreiber dominated the tiebreaker by winning six of the first eight points.

"At the beginning he played unbelievably well," noted Karlovic. "I was struggling a little bit with a back problem, so I couldn't hit as hard as I normally do. But it was a good week. I didn't expect five matches here, so I am very happy to have reached the final."

Kohlschreiber improved to 5-6 all-time in title matches and evened his record against Karlovic to 2-2. Karlovic fell to 5-5 in finals and is 0-2 this year. The seventh-seeded Croat was also the runner-up in Memphis back in February.

The French Open is on the horizon for both. Kohlschreiber will play Pere Riba in the first round, while Karlovic will face 11th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.

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