Ivo Karlovic makes history: I am really really old, but I am here

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 05, 2019 12:15 hrs
Ivo karlovic

Everyone is talking 'aces' and 'records' in Pune.

He crossed the 13000-aces milestone during his semi-final encounter against Steve Darcis, firing 33 of those while registering 90-plus per cent first serves. And rightly leads the tournament with 88 aces.

On Thursday he was the oldest tour-level semi-finalist.

On Friday he became the oldest tour-level finalist. Ivo Karlovic, the oldest player in the singles draw at the Tata Open Maharashtra needs no introduction.

At 39 years and 10 months, the Croat is the oldest player since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1977 to reach a tour-level final.

I know that I am old. I am really really old, but I am here still after these years of ups and downs and injuries. It's unbelievable - Ivo Karlovic

The 6'11" Zagreb native, who was broken for the first time in the tournament during his 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 semi-final win over Darcis, admitted that 'it was a difficult match' though he had played the Belgian before.

To be fair to Darcis, the first unranked player (since 1990) to reach a tour-level semi-final, he fought hard, stretched the serve and volleyer to play one more shot, but had to surrender finally to his big serves.

A couple of hours later, Kevin Anderson, another big server and the top seed of the tournament avenged his final defeat to defending champion Gilles Simon by winning the second semi-final 6-3, 7-6, and making it a final between the No.1 and No.2 -- Karlovic (88) and Kevin Anderson (55) w.r.t tournament aces.

Karlovic, the winner of eight titles has reached 19 of his ATP Tour finals after turning 35. Though Anderson leads the head-to-head 3-1, the top seed may not be the crowd favourite against Dr Ivo in the title clash. Pune fans may be behind Karlovic more than his South African opponent.

The crowd's Simon, Simon chants did bother Anderson even as he stretched his win-loss record against the Frenchman to 4-1.

Karlovic has already performed two rounds better than his previous best showing of reaching the quarterfinals in 2007 and 2009, so anything will be a bonus.

Talking to former India No.1 and the 2009 finalist at Chennai Open Somdev Devvarman during an on-court interview after his win, Karlovic has this to say, 'it's going to be one difficult match'.

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