Beyond his 2m11, necessarily an asset when it comes to serving, the Croatian Ivo Karlovic also worked hard on his service during his teenage years. During the war that devastated his country at the beginning of the 1990s, he had no one to play with and very little infrastructure to train: "Few people cared about tennis at that time. So I would go out on the court alone and spend hours and hours working on my serve. That's my secret. " Adding up the length of his arms and racket, the Croatian hits his serves at about 3m80 at the moment of the impulse. His hard work and longevity - he's still on the circuit at almost 42 years of age - have made him the best server of all time. Here are some statistics to illustrate the Croatian's performance since his debut on the ATP circuit in Tashkent on September 10, 2001.
His fastest service: 251km/h in the Davis Cup in Zagreb against Germany. Christopher Kas was opposite. He managed to hit the ball but could not control it. Australian Samuel Groth surpassed this record three times in 2012 in Busan in Challenger (263, 255, 253) but the ATP has not approved the speed of his serves because the radars used are not the same as on the ATP circuit. This is also the case for the Frenchman Albano Olivetti who had served at 253km/h in Segovia in 2012. The record is now officially held by John Isner, who served in 2016 in Davis Cup against Bernard Tomic at 253km/h in Segovia. On the other hand, the Croatian holds the record for the second fastest ball in history. It was flashed at 249km/h in Washington in 2007. On 19 June 2015 in Halle, Ivo Karlovic scored 45 aces against Tomas Berdych. This is the record for the best of three sets. He also held the record for aces in the best of five sets with 78 aces in the Davis Cup semi-final in 2009 against the Czech Radek Stepanek. It took two players playing the longest match in history (11:05 am) to break that record a few months later at Wimbledon. John Isner (113) and Nicolas Mahut (103) will be hard to beat... With 1447 aces registered in 2015, the Croatian is the second highest number of aces over a season, held by his compatriot Goran Ivanisevic (1477 aces in 1996). He has exceeded the cut of 1000 aces in one season 4 times.
What allowed Ivo Karlovic to stay in the top 100 between 2003 and 2019 (with a peak at 14th place in 2008) and win 8 titles on the circuit is obviously his ability to win his service games :
- Service games lost per set:Karlovic 0.429 / Isner 0.434 / Raonic 0.45 / Roddick 0.494
- Service games lost per game:Karlovic 1.11 / Raonic 1.15 / Isner 1.16 / Roddick 1.25
- Break balls conceded per set:Karlovic 0.276 / Isner 0.282 / Raonic 0.289 / Opelka 0.30 / Roddick 0.305
- Break balls conceded per set:Raonic 1.481 / Karlovic 1.486 / Isner 1.506 / Roddick 1.526
- Break balls conceded per match:Raonic 3.80 / Karlovic 3.83 / Roddick 3.86 / Isner 4.03
- Break balls saved:Isner 71.14% / Karlovic 71.10% / Johansson 70.16% / Raonic 69.64% / Opelka 68.06%.
- Lost points per serve set:Karlovic 1.67 / Raonic 1.696 / Roddick 1.719 / Isner 1.744
- Points won behind his first ball:Karlovic 82.71% / Ivanisevic 82.45% / Raonic 81.45% / Krajicek 81.38%.
- Average aces per service:Karlovic 23.39% / Opelka 22.85% / Isner 20.90% / Raonic 19.62%.
Other statistics show that the Croatian has especially a huge cold blood to turn over situations badly embarked on some service games :
Score of 15-0:Karlovic 97.2% of games won / Isner 96.8%.
Score of 30-0:Karlovic 99.2% / Isner 98.9%.
Score of 40-0:Opelka 100% / Karlovic 99.9
Score of 15-40:Karlovic 50.9% / Isner 45%.
Score of 0-40:Karlovic 33.9% / Federer 30.1%. Finally, despite his longevity and risk-taking on serve, the Croatian committed relatively few double faults: only 0.255 on average per serve game and 1.374 per game. He is ranked 22nd with a career total of 2,438, a long way behind Spain's Fernando Verdasco (3,787).
Current ranking of the number of career aces :
12365 : Isner
10131 : Ivanisevic
8713 : Sampras
8325 : Querrey
8121 : Ljubicic
7916 : Raonic
7151 : Anderson
1746 : OpelkaSource: https://www.atptour.com/en/stats/aces/all/all/all/
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