Croatia's Cilic, seeded fourth, posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Tipsarevic in St. Petersburg, denying the Serb another October title after he took wins in Kuala Lumpur and Moscow this month.
Cilic controlled Tipsarevic's serve in the third set, forcing him into seven break points while converting two. The Croat saved both break points he faced in the final frame, breaking through for his first title since February 2010.
He improved to a 6-6 career mark in finals.
The second-seeded Tipsarevic, meanwhile, fell to 2-5 in finals for his career.