Ivo Karlovic claimed his first title on the ATP World Tour in five years as he defeated home favourite Alejandro Falla to win the Claro Open in Colombia.
The 34-year-old Croatian put his recent illness behind him as he finished a superb week by lifting the trophy after a comfortable 6-3 7-6 victory on the clay of Bogota.
Despite being out of action for more than two months earlier this year, after suffering from viral-meningitis, Karlovic was back to his best throughout the tournament firing 104 aces without dropping serve in 61 games.
"It was an unbelievable week,'' said Karlovic after receiving the trophy.
Appearing in his first final in three years, Karlovic took the opening set in 31 minutes after breaking the Colombian in the fourth game.
Despite failing to convert three break points in the second set, two aces saw him seal the tie-break for his first ATP crown since he won on the grass of Nottingham in 2008.
The Croat was understandably delighted to put all his troubles behind him.
"Only happiness," said Karlovic when asked how he felt.
"That after all these injuries and illnesses i was able to be back here," he added.
A former World No. 14, Karlovic found himself ranked 155, although is expected to climb back into the top 100 following his victory.
Karlovic said it was a "bonus" to be playing again after his illness, but will now aim to continuing his winning run in a bid to be part of the final Grand Slam of the year when the US Open begins in late August.
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