Karlovic Cracks 10,000th Ace

Ivo Karlovic joins elite company in the 10,000-ace club

Ivo Karlovic has joined former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic as just the second man to hit 10,000 career aces in a straight-sets upset of home hope Milos Raonic at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

The 6ft11in Karlovic sent down 22 aces on his way to a 7-6(1), 7-6(1) victory over the No. 8 seed and in the process drew closer to his Croatian compatriot’s record. The 36 year old sent an ace down the T at 3-3 in the second set to reach the milestone and finished the match with a Tour-leading 1009 aces for the year to take his career tally to 10,004 and counting. He made no secret, his former Davis Cup teammate’s record was in his sights.

“I mean, of course, that is my goal,” Karlovic said. “I would hope that it will be this year. If not, it's OK, also if it's next year. Hopefully I will be able to do it, be healthy enough, and hopefully it will be soon.”

Ivanisevic needed 895 matches to reach his 10,183-ace mark. Karlovic, meanwhile, has cracked the 10,000 milestone in only his 527th match. He will go on to play the winner of Jeremy Chardy and Leonardo Mayer next after notching his third Top 10 win of the season.

CAREER ACES ON ALL SURFACES FROM ALL COUNTRIES*

Player
Total Aces
Matches
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO)
10,183
895
Ivo Karlovic (CRO)
10,004
527
Roger Federer (SUI)
9,279
1,124
Andy Roddick (USA)
9,074
780
Pete Sampras (USA)
8,858
961

“Obviously it means a lot to me. I was moving unbelievable this evening,” he said. “Everything was going my way. So I'm really, really happy with my performance tonight. I was really focused and aggressive. I was hitting forehands unbelievable. I was running around. I mean, everything was going my way. That's why it was this score in the tie-breaks.”

Despite being the oldest player in the Montreal draw, Karlovic is enjoying one of his best seasons to date, being one of only three players to beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 2015 (in the quarter-finals in Doha) and winning his sixth career title at Delray Beach. Earlier this season in Halle, he set a new record for the most aces in a three-set match, hitting 45 past Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-finals.

“I don't feel any less strong or fast than when I was younger,” he said. “I feel really good … I didn't reach Top 100 when I was 18, 19. I reached little bit later. That's why I'm not like used up. As long as I will be healthy and my ranking will be up like this, there is no reason to stop.”

Raonic had won their only prior meeting in Bangkok in 2012 and was playing for the first time since his third-round Wimbledon exit to Nick Kyrgios. He saved three match points on serve, trailing 4-5 in the second set, but was unable to replicate those heroics in the tie-break. He never brought up a single break point on Karlovic's serve and admitted the Croatian played better than him.

“You sort of saw that difference in the tie-breaks.  He got ahead, I gave away a few too many free points,” the 24-year-old Canadian said. “It's very disappointing. I wish I could have done better today, given myself an opportunity to do better in the next round. A poor week this week doesn't mean it's a poor week next week.”

* - Aces from Davis Cup matches not included.
- Karlovic is now less than 200 from Ivanisevic’s record. Note that Ivanisevic’s career began before 1991 when ace records were not kept.
- Karlovic’s aces per match average is 18.97 vs. Ivanisevic’s average of 11.38

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