Karlovic Blasts Record 45 Aces Past Berdych to Set Up Federer Clash

Hey, folks. Is everyone still enjoying the tennis? Today Karlovic set a new record for aces hit in a best-of-three set match. He beat his own record of 44 aces, but that record he held with Philippoussis. Now he is alone in front after smashing 45 aces past Berdych today in a 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3 victory. He also takes a 5-3 lead in the head-to-head with Berdych with this victory. Given his record against Berdych I guess this win wasn’t all that surprising then. But still a very good win for him.

I don’t know how you beat someone who fires 45 aces past you over three sets. I guess the best you can do is hold on to your own serve and hope for the best in a tie-break. That is what Berdych did in the second set and it worked. But if you keep holding your serve with ease it puts pressure on the other guy’s serve too. Probably this allowed Karlovic to break serve in the first and third sets. Karlovic now plays Federer who bageled Mayer 6-0, 7-6(1). I watched only the second set of that match and Mayer didn’t impress me.

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But I assume Federer played well in the first set to get the bagel. In the second set, Mayer had some chances but as usual Federer just snuffed it out with a service winner. Then in the tie-break Federer was just solid while Mayer was poor. The fact that Berdych lost is great news for Federer. He leads Karlovic 12-1 in the head-to-head as opposed to Berdych who is a bogeyman for him. The only guy who I thought from the start would really be a threat for Federer was Berdych and he is gone now.

  • Halle is Now Federer’s Title to Lose

So this is clearly his title to lose now. Maybe if Karlovic serves another 45 aces and plays some surprisingly good return games he can cause the upset, but probably he won’t be able to break Federer. There will probably be a tie-break in the first set and the winner of it will become the favorite. But Federer is a good returner of big serves so maybe he can even avoid a tie-break in the first set. I think it should be a good contest anyway and I am looking forward to it.

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In the bottom half, you have Seppi against whom Monfils withdrew in the second set and Nishikori who needed three sets to get past Janowicz. You’d expect Nishikori to get through but whoever gets through in the top half should be the favorite due to a better serve. Nishikori’s serve is pretty much a joke for his level of tennis and I never see him being a serious threat at Wimbledon.

  • Murray Survives Muller in Queen’s

Muller defeated Dimitrov in straight sets yesterday who I predict will lose first round at Wimbledon after making semis last year. That would also cause him to tumble down the rankings where he belongs. As for Muller, his serve is a damaging shot on the grass and he backs it up with a good net game. His problem is his movement which is quite poor, but he still made life very difficult for Murray today. After Murray lost the first set he did well to win the second set in the tiebreak and win 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.

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It was a tough test for Murray and he did well to come through in the end. He is the favorite for the title, but he plays a rejuvenated Troicki tomorrow who sent Isner packing in straight sets. It seems Troicki is now back where he was before his ban which wasn’t easy to do. He also beat Cilic again yesterday after beating him in Stuttgart. I guess he really likes to play on grass right now. In the bottom half, Simon upset Raonic in three sets while Anderson continued his good run with a straight set victory over Garcia-Lopez.

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ezkNU9VDNs

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 500, Halle, London-Queen's.

13 Comments

  1. Hey Ruan! Thanks for the post!

    In the last couple of years, Dimitrov has improved physically, made his serve more accurate and even made his backhand a little more solid. How does he stop being a mental midget?

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  2. I caugth some of the Federer match and the commentator said that he has skipped his practice the day before (Thursday) Hopefully ther eis no back issues acting up for him.

    Overall Federer played a very strong 1st set, then normally in the 2nd. Had a break point to serve for the match but coulldn’t convert.

    He did seem though a little annoyed during match. For example after one fault which Meyer returned, he wound up and smacked a backhand pretty close to one of the linesman (not on purpose surely). He was also muttering to himself a few times. Oh well hopefully he’s feeling OK and ready for Dr Ivo tomorrow…

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  3. Good blog, Ru-an, all bases well covered, thank you!
    Just tuned in to see the results of Roger/Karlovic match and see Roger won in 2 TB. Am very happy for Roger, he will be in the Final tomorrow. Do hope to catch the match on a re-run. Bravo, Roger, Good Luck for tomorrow, may another Halle trophy be yours.
    Will look forward to your thoughts on today’s matches, Ru-an, especially, Roger’s.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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  4. He was ready for Doctor Ivo alright, 2 tie-breaks as expected. Not exactly the most exciting tennis of all time, but what can you expect when you play Karlovic in this form?
    Congrats to Ivo for the aces record by the way – he’s put his height and serving motion to their best possible use.

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  5. Love your Karlovic highlights, Ru-an. Really exciting, masterful tennis full of subtlety and variety. I mean, sometimes he aces Berdych down the middle. And other times he aces Berdych out wide. What’s not to like?

    More seriously, Karlovic entered this semifinal without being broken during the whole tournament or even facing a break point, and he lost still not having faced a break point. That can’t be a pleasant experience.

    Karlovic matches are always tricky because they demand absolute concentration from Federer, one slip-up and he either gets broken or misses his chance to break. He served deceptively well in this match, had to, just because of the pressure Karlovic’s serve put on him. He backed his serve very well and also made good returns when he needed them.

    Karlovic is not a consistent returner, but he doesn’t need to be. Because he almost never plays points on his own serve, he can afford to wait patiently. His opponent is sure to have a soft service game once per set, and that’s when Karlovic pounces and tries to club the return in the hopes that he will get a break point. Once he has the break, he just bombs aces for the rest of the set and uses scoreboard pressure to stay ahead. If he doesn’t manage to break, he just waits until the tiebreak where he favors his chances. That’s why he poses such a unique challenge when he’s playing this well. And Federer handled it extremely well.

    After Karlovic dropped the first tiebreak in such a comparatively limp fashion–making a poor second serve which Federer arrowed for a lightning return winner, then double-faulting on set point–I felt it wasn’t going to be as nerve-wracking as Basel last year. But it was still tough.

    Federer’s now won all five breakers he’s played this tournament, which is a welcome development given his poor tiebreak record this season.

    Seppi has now been the beneficiary of two consecutive withdrawals by players who, going by the rankings, should have easily eaten him for breakfast, and he will now play for his first Halle title. This is Federer’s chance to break the so called “Seppi curse” at long last and I hope he does! C’mon Roger!

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  6. A masterful display from the King of Grass! Now onto Wimbledon where Roger will go for an Unprecedented 8th Title there as well.

    I like it! ;-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Are you Vily?

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    Hilda Reply:

    No, I am not. I do like some of his comments, though. Where is he, by the way? I haven’t heard from him in a while. Anyway. Congrats.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Congrats on what?

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  7. Good win for Roger today, he’s played a nice variety of opponents in Halle as a tune-up: Kohlschreiber the crafty player and grass court specialist, Gulbis the inconsistent big hitter, Mayer the steady guy with no outstanding weapon, Karlovic the huge server and Seppi the baseliner. Seppi played really well today, about his AO 2015 level, but Fed won a lot of important points and once again showed his worth in the 1st set tie-breaker. This kind of level will probably see him through to the QFs without much problem at Wimbledon, it’s about finding that extra gear now to go even further.
    Maybe he gets some outside help. I’m in London and from what I’ve heard, the weather is set to be quite average and unpredictable. A fair amount of rain is on the way through end of June/ beginning of July, so the Wimbledon roof might be in use frequently throughout the tournament.

    Also, really happy for my local guy Andy Murray! Once again, he manages to pull double-duty. Beats Troicki in straight sets and then looks even more impressive against Kevin Anderson just a few hours later to pick up the Queen’s Title.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Congrats to your player Murray, Krish. He is looking like the early favorite for Wimbledon to me. I am quite certain he can beat Djokovic on the faster courts of Wimbledon. As for Federer, I wasn’t very impressed with his opponents, but at least Seppi came to play in the final and Federer did well to get it done in straight sets. It was a good tune-up for him.

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