Karlovic's Aces Sink Tsonga
Veteran Croat Ivo Karlovic fired 19 aces to upset eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday in Cincinnati.
Karlovic won 82 per cent of points on his first serve and saved both break points he faced. Tsonga could win just 58 per cent of his second-serve points. The 38-year-old has now won three of his four career meetings with the Frenchman.
The 6' 11" giant will next play the winner of Nick Kyrgios and Alexandr Dolgopolov, who on Tuesday upset in-form South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6(6) after winning 34 of 36 first-serve points.
Another big server, 14th seed John Isner, enjoyed a 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow American Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-3. Isner fired 16 aces, and dropped just two points on his first serve, while breaking serve three times.
Third seed Dominic Thiem breezed into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Italian Fabio Fognini, dragging himself out of a mini-slump that had seen him suffer early-round defeats in Montreal and Washington during the past two weeks. Thiem attributed his sharply improved performance to an outstanding service night, in which he dropped just three points on his first serve. The Austrian next meets the winner of Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey and World No. 36 Italian Adrian Mannarino.
“I felt great. It was a really, really good performance,” Thiem said. “I was pretty tight at the beginning obviously. It's funny how fast the confidence goes down in tennis after two not-so-good weeks.
“If my first serve works well then I'm always playing good, and that was not the case the last two weeks, and that's why I was struggling and I think it's probably the most important shot in men's tennis; it is for me.”