Kuala Lumpur - Ivo Karlovic pounded 18 aces to make a dominating start to his Malaysian Open campaign as he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday and move himself to the cusp of an ATP record.
Karlovic, at 36 the oldest player in the Top 20 since 37-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1990, moved within 48 aces of fellow Croatian Goran Ivanisevic's all-time ATP record of 10,237.
Should he keep on winning in Malaysia, he should surpass the mark this week.
The third-seeded Karlovic has a maximum three more matches in Kuala Lumpur as he reached the quarter-finals after a bye.
While Karlovic was advancing, there was an upset loss for French sixth seed Jeremy Chardy, a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 victim of Benjamin Becker as the German reached his first quarter-final of the season.
It was only the 10th ATP-level win of a poor 2015 for Becker, who was also among the last eight at the tournament last year.
Australian Nick Kyrgios, whose mother is Malaysian and who is considered a native by local fans, reached the quarters for the first time in five months thanks to a defeat of Japan's Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 6-2.
"It is definitely a special tournament, for me and for my mum. I have a lot of relatives in Malaysia and I would hate to let them all down, so there is an added pressure in that as well," Kyrgios told local media.
"This will be my second time here, so I'm already quite used to the conditions."
In the first round, last week's St Petersburg runner-up Joao Sousa of Portugal beat qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-2, 6-2 in just over one hour and next takes on Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov.
German qualifier Mischa Zverev will play Spanish second seed Feliciano Lopez after defeating Rajeev Ram 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3.