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Tennis News From 10sBalls | Karlovic Beats Gulbis With Two Breakers To Reach Tata Semi In Pune

By Ricky Dimon


The good doctor is also the ageless doctor. Ivo Karlovic–“Dr. Ivo,” of course–is still going strong at 39 years old, as he booked a spot in the semifinals of the Tata Open by beating Ernests Gulbis 7-6(5), 7-6(5) on Thursday.


Karlovic did not break Gulbis or even generate a single break-point chance over the course of the whole match, but it doesn’t matter when you possess a serve like that of the Croatian giant. The veteran, who has not been broken through three matches this season, fired 25 aces past the Latvian while prevailing in one hour and 45 minutes.


In the opening round, Karlovic beat an opponent whom he is more than twice as old as; in fact, you could double 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime’s age and still have to add three years to get to Karlovic.


“I want to be the oldest one ever in the top 100,” the world No. 100 said after beating the teenager. “I am the oldest (in 25 years). I am obviously happy that I’m still here, doing what I love to do and winning.


“Usually I would train a lot, but in my old age I am trying to go a little bit easier because it’s not easy to train anymore. In the offseason I spent some time at home. Actually, I like it a lot like this. I was always doing a lot in the gym. Now what is difficult is the mental aspect. It’s not easy to have motivation to wake up early to do all the work. But at the end of the day, this is what I love to do and I want to do it longer.”


At this rate, there is no telling how long Dr. Ivo can go. With a game that certainly isn’t predicated on movement (rather, simply booming one massive serve after another while keeping points extremely short), Karlovic can obviously enjoy a much longer career than mere mortal servers who have to rely on their legs.


As for how long he goes in Pune, he will face fellow surprise semifinalist Steve Darcis on Friday. The other semi is a rematch of the 2018 final between Kevin Anderson and Gilles Simon.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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