Although he’s coming up for the age of 40, the name of Ivo Karlovic is beginning to blossom in tennis circles. It’s rare that someone who has been in the pro game for close to two decades – having turned pro in 2000 – is only beginning to gain major recognition now. While major tennis fans will likely have come across his talent on the court before now, he’s beginning to enter public consciousness in a new way.
Carrying a serve that’s like a shotgun with a laser sight, Karlovic carries bombastic power and wonderful accuracy in his serves. He’s enjoyed a long career that’s seen him take on various ATP tours, having won seven titles across a very impressive career.
Arguably the first time that he came into public consciousness would have been in 2003, when he pulled off a shocker at Wimbledon. Then, he beat Lleyton Hewitt across a four-set epic. At the time, Hewitt was the defending champion of the flagship event, and the #2 in the world. It sent shockwaves in the sport, with many believing that a new star had just been bon.
As can happen in sport, though, it took another four years for Karlovic to really break through and make a name for himself. In 2007, he lifted the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship. This was his first ever title, followed up shortly after with both thee Nottingham Open and the Stockholm Open. He returned in 2008 to lift the same trophy again in Nottingham, lifting himself as high as #14 at that point.
This came through an incredible win over Roger Federer, then arguably towards his peak, in Cincinnati. This helped him reach the quarter finals that year before crashing out. Since then, Karlovic enjoyed a rather nomadic existence, winning the 2013 tournament in Bogota being his only achievement since.
However, 2016 seen him return to the mainstream tennis scene. He won both the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and the Abierto Mexicano Mifel, winning both at the tender age of 37. While sporting resurrections at such a stage in one’s career can be pretty exceptional, if very rare, Karlovic looks set to give it all he has.
Indeed, in 2016 he became the holder of a rather unique record – he hit his 10,238th career Ace. In doing so, he broke the Ace record held by Goran Ivanisevic – a true testament to his sniper-like accuracy.