Wimbledon

Karlovic relishes being Wimbledon's senior citizen

2018-07-02 20:36
Ivo Karlovic (AP)

London - Ivo Karlovic plans to play into his 40s after the giant Croat beat Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in the battle of Wimbledon's senior citizens.

With an average age of 37 years and eight months, Karlovic, 39, and Youzhny, 36, treated Wimbledon fans to the oldest Grand Slam match for 40 years in the first round on Monday.

Not since the 1978 Australian Open, when Ken Rosewall met Sherwood Stewart with an average age of 38 years and four months, had two older stagers gone head to head at a major.

In a testament to his fitness at an age when many of his peers have long since retired, Karlovic ignored searing heat and a strong wind that played havoc with his usually lethal serve to win 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.

"I'm not injured so I am still healthy. I want to see how long I can go and hopefully my ranking will not go down, so I will be at the other Grand Slams. That's what I'm looking for," Karlovic told AFP.

"I don't have an age I want to play to. As long as I am healthy and my ranking is up there, I don't see any reason why I should stop."

Karlovic was making his 14th appearance in the Wimbledon main draw and he admitted ending the frustrating losing streak he brought into the grass-court Grand Slam felt like a huge moment.

"Every win is really big now, especially coming here I didn't have a lot of wins. I lost five in a row I think, so this makes me really happy," he said.

A late bloomer, Karlovic didn't make his Grand Slam debut until 2003 at the age of 23.

The 6ft 11in power server celebrated his arrival at the top level with a stunning victory over defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the Wimbledon first round.

He also reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2009 when he lost to Roger Federer.

Although Karlovic never quite fulfilled the promise he showed early in his career, the year-round grind of travelling, often without his wife and young family, hasn't robbed him of his love for the sport.

Days like this make it worthwhile for Karlovic, who said: "It is not always easy to motivate myself.

"I have a family who are here now but usually they don't travel a lot because of school. One of children is just a little baby. So I always miss them a lot."

Asked if he has a secret to playing at a high level at his age, Karlovic added: "Of course I am always trying to keep healthy and do everything I can. Even at my age now, I want to progress physically.

"If I don't do everything I can I would get a lot more injuries and then it would be over."

As for the historic combined age of his clash with his good friend Youzhny, Karlovic admitted he didn't even know what the pair had achieved just by walking onto the court.

"Oh really? Oh wow. That's amazing," he said.

"Yes I'm friendly with Mikhail, but we don't want to talk about age. We don't want to go there!"

Next up for Karlovic is a clash with Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff.

Wimbledon results on Monday, the first day of the 2018 championships (x denotes seeded player):

Men

1st round

Roger Federer (SUI x1) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-1, 6-3, 6-4

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG x32) 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x22) bt Christian Garin (CHI) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Ryan Harrison (USA) bt Roberto Carballes (ESP) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Guillermo Garcia-Lpez (ESP) bt Gasto Elias (POR) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Borna Coric (CRO x16) 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-2

Sam Querrey (USA x11) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Joao Sousa (POR) 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4

Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x23) 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 6-4

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x25) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-2, 6-4, 7-5

Gilles Muller (LUX) bt Michael Mmoh (USA) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 6-1

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 6-2, 6-4, 6-1

Kevin Anderson (RSA x8) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x3) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Guido Pella (ARG) bt Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3)

Mackenzie McDonald (USA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)

Nicolas Jarry (CHI) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB x28) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Lucas Pouille (FRA x17) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Dennis Novak (AUT) bt Peter Polansky (CAN) 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7)

John Millman (AUS) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 7-5, 6-2

Milos Raonic (CAN x13) bt Liam Broady (GBR) 7-5, 6-0, 6-1

John Isner (USA x9) bt Yannick Maden (GER) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x31) bt Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5

Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-1

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Yuki Bhambri (IND) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x6) 1-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Women

1st round

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x7) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-1

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Katie Swan (GBR) bt Irina Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-2, 6-2

Kiki Bertens (NED x20) bt Barbora Stefkova (CZE) 6-3, 6-2

Anna Blinkova (RUS) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4

Alexandra Dulgheru (ROM) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2

Venus Williams (USA x9) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-1

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 7-5, 6-2

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN x31) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 7-5, 6-4

Rebecca Peterson (SWE) bt Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (11/9)

Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x4) 6-1, 6-3

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

Serena Williams (USA x25) bt Arantxa Rus (NED) 7-5, 6-3

Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x19) 7-5, 6-3

Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) bt Antonia Lottner (GER) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

Luksika Kumkhum (THA) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x10) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-4, 6-2

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x21) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 (7/0), 2-6, 6-3

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x2) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-0, 6-3

Read more on:    wimbledon 2018  |  ivo karlovic

 

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