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Ivo Karlovic struck 75 aces, just three shy of his personal record, in Tuesday's victory over Horacio Zeballos at the Australian Open.

Karlovic Fires Into Australian Open Record Books With Zeballos Win

Record broken for longest match in term of games in Melbourne

Ivo Karlovic has been at it again! This time engraving his name in the Australian Open record books.

The 6’11” Croatian fought back from an 0-2 sets deficit to beat Horacio Zeballos 6-7(6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 22-20 in five hours and 14 minutes on Tuesday night for a place in the second round. The match fell 38 minutes short of Novak Djokovic’s win over Rafael Nadal in the 2012 final, which lasted five hours and 53 minutes.

The Karlovic-Zeballos match lasted 84 games breaking the Australian Open record since the introduction of the tie-break in 1972, surpassing Andy Roddick and Younes El Aynaoui's 2003 classic of 83 games – including a 21-19 fifth set.

“This match is what I will, after my career, remember,” said Karlovic. “If it was easy match or I lost easily, I wouldn't remember it. But this one I will definitely remember forever.

The 37-year-old Karlovic also fired down 75 aces, another Australian Open record – bettering Joachim Johansson’s 51 aces in 2005. It was just three aces shy of equalling Karlovic’s record 78 aces versus fellow veteran Radek Stepanek in the 2009 Davis Cup semi-finals.

One chance for each player went begging in the deciding set that lasted two hours and 41 minutes, before No. 20 seed Karlovic broke Zeballos’ serve for just the fourth time to end the encounter, which had begun mid-afternoon in 37°C (98.6F) heat. It was the longest fifth set in Australian Open history.

“My arm is good, but my knee, my back a little bit, is not so good,” said Karlovic. “I was just trying to hang in there, just point by point… [As the fifth set wore on], actually I was thinking about that other match: [John] Isner versus [Nicolas] Mahut (at 2010 Wimbledon, which Isner won 70-68 in the fifth set). I was hoping, a little bit, it could go that long so I could also have that record.”

Karlovic goes on to face Australian Andrew Whittington, who beat Adam Pavlasek 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 earlier in the day.

Karlovic holds the US Open aces match record, which he set in a grueling five-set win over Yen-Hsun Lu in August 2016. Karlovic fired 61 aces – including 22 in the second set - to eclipse the previous US Open record of 49 set by Richard Krajicek in a losing effort to Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999. Read Report

The Croatian has now struck 11,689 aces in tour-level matches over the course of his 17-year professional career. Isner struck 1,159 aces to Karlovic's 1,131 aces in 2016, but the Croatian led the ATP World Tour circuit in 2015 with 1,447 aces (Isner - 1,260).

See Infosys ATP Scores & Stats – Career Aces

The ATP World Tour started to compile career ace records in 1991. They include aces served in main draw ATP World Tour and Grand Slam matches, and at the Olympic Games from 2008 onwards. Totals do not include aces served in Davis Cup.

Ivo Karlovic's Ace Count By Year (Since 2001):

Year Aces Matches Aces Per Match
 2017  117  4  29
 2016  1131  54  21
 2015  1447  63  23
 2014  1185  64  19
 2013  485  28  17
 2012  506  30  17
 2011  632  36  18
 2010  472  25  19
 2009  890  43  21
 2008  961  54  18
 2007  1318  64  21
 2006  647  36  18
 2005   730  39  19
 2004  842  43  20
 2003  281  16  18
 2002  30  3  10
 2001  16  1  16

 

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