Ivo Karlovic

Monfils wins 1st title in 2 1/2 years, edging Karlovic in DC

Gael Monfils won his first title in 2 1/2 years, erasing a match point and breaking Ivo Karlovic twice in the span of four service games Sunday during a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory in the Citi Open final.

Monfils, a Frenchman seeded No. 2, prevented the 37-year-old Karlovic from becoming the oldest man since 1973 to win ATP singles tournaments in consecutive weeks.

And Monfils did it by figuring out a way to just barely neutralize the big serve of the 6-foot-11 Karlovic enough to matter.

Up until 5-4 in the second set, when Karlovic served for the championship, the 13th-seeded Croatian had won all 53 of his service games in the hard-court tournament.