Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Anderson pips Karlovic for Tata Open singles title

Anderson pips Karlovic for Tata Open singles title

In a battle of giants, Anderson prevailed 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours and forty four minutes to win the title after losing the final to Gilles Simon a year ago.

And not surprisingly, it was won in three tiebreakers as Kevin Anderson downed Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5).

Fifty-six days shy of his 40th birthday, Karlovic becomes oldest finalist on record since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall at 1977 Hong Kong. Kevin Anderson, who hit 21 out of those 57 aces, was more effective with his returns and won the battle of the tallest ever ATP Tour Finalists in the history of the Open Era.

Anderson, who beat Simon in straight sets in the final, had a far tougher outing in the final against the big-serving Karlovic. Anderson, who in a few days will compete at the Australian Open, said he does not feel the need to make any change to his game to get his maiden Grand Slam title.

When you are playing against Karlovic, it's not fun. "So, all is good", said Karlovic on court.

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Anderson beat world number two Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 en route to the final against Djokovic. In the following game, Indian pair wasn't so benevolent breaking O'Mara's serve to take a 5-3 lead and eventually winning the first set.

This time, Karlovic prevailed 7-2-courtesy his aces and higher count of unforced errors from Anderson-and forced the match into the deciding third set.

"It was unlucky but I would like to congratulate Kevin for an unbelievable a year ago and this week also", Karlovic said in praise of his top-seeded opponent. On Saturday, Anderson was up against another beloved underdog in Karlovic but the South African ensured that the memory of last year's final's loss didn't come back to haunt him. Karlovic hit two back-to-back serves over 200 km/h to get to deuce and then hit another sizzling ace to force the match into a decisive tie-break. Two points later, he found himself on double championship point only to be denied a Karlovic bailout and the third set went into a tie-breaker...

The response was sublime, though, and Karlovic twice failed to hold serve before Anderson aced his way to victory.

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