Back to Europe, and back to the indoors for the first time in a challenger. This tournaments’ on indoor hard, and Ivo is surprisingly the #1 seed! He’s ranked 190, so I guess it’s somewhat understandable. But that mean’s the pressure’s on his shoulders and that he should win this tournament.
First up is a joke of a player, a wild card ranked worse than 500. Tom Rushby (GBR) has no stat better than 13. Do I hear a double bagel, anyone?Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Tom Rushby (GBR) 6-1 6-3
Wow, I feel ashamed to have lost as many games as I did. This guy somehow managed to keep holding his serve and hitting winners despite the fact that he had nothing to work with.
Our next opponent should be at least a little bit more of a challenge. Thomas Schiessling (AUT) is a defender with groundies in the 50s and a serve built for accuracy. I don’t think this fast court will suit him very well though.
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Thomas Schiessling (AUT) 6-3 6-4
Ivo had to work had to break Schiessling in both sets, but he was never troubled on his own serve, never even facing a break point. In the first, Ivo didn’t earn a break point of his own until 4-3, when he took it and ran straight into the next set. Then he had chances in the first game of the 2nd but couldn’t capitalize on them, but was able to two games later, and didn’t look back.
Lol, we’ve drawn Alex Bogdanovic in the quarters! This guy’s been stealing perfectly good wild cards into Wimbledon from the British LTA for a few years now and hasn’t ever done anything with them. He hasn’t even made it past the first round! He’s been a genuine failure, and even Brad Gilbert couldn’t prevent that. On here he’s a volleyer with every stat under 50 (though most are in the 40s), so he shouldn’t be too much trouble. The only reason why he could give Ivo problems is that he’s a lefty.Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Alex Bogdanovic (GBR) 6-2 6-0
Bogdanovic had break points against Ivo in the first game of the match, but after that he had no chance. Ivo was on top of him in every aspect of the game. Ivo’s starting to play better as this tournament goes on, which can only be good.
Ah, Raemon Sluiter. This year he became the lowest ranked player ever to make an ATP final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (wonderful tournament name, ain’t it?). He just came out of retirement this year after retiring last year. Who knows why; he’s never had much success. Sluiter’s a volleyer with stats very similar to Bogdanovic’s but a little bit better. Some of them are in the 50s instead of the 40s
Shouldn’t be too difficult for Ivo.
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Raemon Sluiter (NED) 6-7(6) 6-4 6-4
Ivo and Sluiter held serve easily throughout most of the first set, although Sluiter had a break point at 2-2 and Ivo had one at 6-5. Then in the tiebreak, Ivo went up early but gave the minibreak back with an easy missed volley. Then he double-faulted at 6-6 to give Sluiter a set point on his serve, which Sluiter accepted gladly to take the set. Ivo had more chances to break in the first game of the second set, but once again failed to convert. Then at 2-2, he finally broke through. Though he almost gave it right back, going down 15-40 in the next game, he was still able to hold 3 more times to even the match. The third set proved even tougher to get a break. There was absolutely no chance on either man’s serve until 3-3, when Ivo had a couple break points but didn’t get into either point. But at 4-4, the story changed, and he hit a return winner to break and easily serve the match out. Ivo finished the match with an astounding 38 aces. If it weren’t for those, he probably would’ve lost.
After two players that have had enough publicity for me to know who they are, the final brings us an opponent that I’ve never heard of, Mohcine Roudami (MAR). He’s a varied player with stats all over the board. His groundies have decent power (in the upper 50s) but not too good consistency (in the 30s). I think Ivo’s the better player here. Should be his first challenger title.
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def. Mohcine Roudami (MAR) 6-1 6-2
Roudami never really had a chance, as Ivo pulled out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and never surrendered his serve, even though Rousami did have a couple of break points at 4-1 in the second. I thought this match would be a bit harder than it turned out to be, but I guess it shows that Ivo really deserved to be the number 1 seed in this tournament and that he’s ready to move up to the big leagues now.