Doctor Ivo Karlovic Becomes Oldest ATP Finalist

The Zagreb born skyscraper, Ivo Karlovic has recently the captured the headlines in the Tennis World by reaching the finals of an ATP event in India. Karlovic, who will be turning 40 next month is one of the best servers in the world. His six feet eleven inches height and size 51 shoes aided him to record his best serve with a speed 251 km/h (156 mph). Additionally, he rests on the table-top amongst the ATP men for plummeting maximum number of aces in his tennis career. “When I was younger, maybe 13, I just liked to hit aces and that became my style,” he reminisced. “I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to hit with other kids on the courts. So I’d just go there and practice serves and that helped me a lot”. The serve-and-volleyer hails from a non-sporting family with his mother being an agriculturist and his father being a meteorologist.

Besides all the records of Karlovic, the Croatian set up a fresh record by declaring himself to be the oldest tennis player to reach the ATP finals in the last four decades. “I am really old, but I am here,” Karlovic was quoted as saying. “It’s unbelievable!”, the man who plays like a boy, Karlovic exclaimed. He saw off Steve Darcis in last four of the Maharastra Open in Pune and met the 2018 Wimbledon finalist, Kevin Anderson in final. With that win, Karlovic started sharing a space with the Australian, Ken Rosewall who reached a final in  Hong Kong in 1977 at 43 years of age.

Also, Karlovic made it to seven of his 19 ATP Tour finals after the age of 35. And he is the oldest player in the ATP top 100. “It helped that I didn’t reach the Top 100 at a really young age. I was 24, so I don’t feel like I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I have been, but it’s a different feeling”. In the finals, Anderson battled past against the Croatian to pull off the Tata Open title with 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) victory against Karlovic.

Mahalakshmi Murali

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