"After such a long time of waiting and not having one, this is a great moment for me," the third-seeded Czech said.
The match appeared to turn in the in the second game of the first set, on the Berdych serve, when Cilic had three breakpoints. With the game at deuce, Berdych appeared to have won a long rally, but Cilic complained that the ball had been damaged during play. The umpire agreed and instructed the point to be played over. A relaxed Berdych was able to make light of the situation and went on to win the game.
"I think that was the key to the match," Berdych said afterward.
He broke Cilic in the following game as the Croat hit two consecutive returns into the net.
In the second set, Berdych's serve was becoming an increasingly potent weapon and his play became increasingly confident, prompting Cilic to throw his racket into the air in frustration after one lost point.
"It was a tough one, even if it doesn't look like it from the score," Berdych said. "I mean Marin is playing really well, his game is really on top the last couple of weeks."
Cilic came into the match having won the PBZ indoor tournament last week in Zagreb and ousted two top-10 players in Rotterdam -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray -- on his way to the final.