(Reuters) - Ivo Karlovic will seek to keep the Delray Beach Open title in Croatian hands when he plays American Donald Young in Sunday’s final in Florida.
Fourth seed Karlovic moved closer to his sixth ATP title when he made quick work of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino with a straight sets semi-final victory on Saturday.
The 35-year-old pounded 17 aces and broke serve once in each set to triumph 6-3 6-4 on the outdoor hardcourt.
Earlier, the unseeded Young exerted considerably more energy in the other semi, edging Australian Bernard Tomic 4-6 6-4 6-2 in nearly two hours.
Young’s ability to win points on his second serve proved decisive, as Tomic struggled when he did not get his first serve into play in the final two sets.
“He’s really a tricky guy. I had to be aggressive,” Karlovic, speaking of Mannarino, told the tournament website after saving all five break points he faced.
Karlovic’s countryman Marin Cilic won last year’s title and then captured the U.S. Open barely six months later.
Karlovic has won only one title since 2008. To emulate Cilic, he will have to overcome a hungry Young, 25, who believes he finally is ready to claim his first ATP title.
“It’s tough to get to the finals,” world number 56 Young said after advancing to only his second career final.
“There have been other things that I felt were holding me back. It wasn’t just my game, it was about the consistency, the mental part and putting together back-to-back matches. I‘m happy I‘m able to do that lately.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien