By: Peter Mendelsohn |
Many players struggle against Ivo Karlovic, the 6’11” Croat who has the most career aces in ATP history.
But not Vasek Pospisil.
Pospisil defeated Karlovic for the fourth straight time with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday evening.
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The B.C. native made 72% of his first serves in the match, compared to just 54% from Karlovic.
Karlovic took a 3-0 lead in the first set tiebreak, and appeared to be on his way to winning the opening set.
But Pospisil won 7 of the next 8 points, clinching the set with a backhand volley passing shot from just behind the service line.
In the second set, Karlovic broke Pospisil to take a 3-1 lead. But the big man from Zagreb could not keep his composure. Serving at 4-2, Karlovic hit three double faults, allowing Pospisil to get right back on serve.
At 5 all in the second set tiebreak, Pospisil’s inside-out forehand forced a Karlovic error, bringing up match point for the Canadian. Pospisil then hammered Karlovic’s second serve at the Croat’s feet, and roared in celebration after Karlovic’s half volley struck the net.
Pospisil advances to the second round where he will take on Andrey Rublev.
Rublev, the 27th seed, is the second highest ranked 20-year-old in the world after Alexander Zverev. But the Russian has lost his last three matches, and Pospisil will look to prolong those struggles in their second round match on Friday.
-At 39 years old, Ivo Karlovic is the oldest player in the top 100 of the ATP Rankings.
-Karlovic served 11 aces over his first four service games, but only hit 4 aces the rest of the match.