Bashing 39 aces to match his age, Ivo Karlovic turned the oldest man to win a match at the Australian Open in over 40 years as he felled Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, a person 18 years his junior, to succeed in the second spherical.
On a sweltering day at Melbourne Park, the towering Croat’s 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-6(Three) 7-6(5) win on Court 19 made him the oldest victor at the event since Australian icon Ken Rosewall reached the third spherical of the 1978 event at the age of 44.
World quantity 73 Karlovic additionally turned the oldest winner at any Grand Slam since a 40-year-old Jimmy Connors beat Jaime Oncins to succeed in the second spherical of the 1992 U.S. Open.
Karlovic, whose birthday falls on Feb. 28, might be formally middle-aged subsequent month however stated he had no intention of winding down whereas nonetheless match sufficient to compete.
“I think I’m healthy so hopefully there will be no injuries,” the 6-ft 11-in (2.11 metres) Zagreb man informed Reuters at Melbourne Park.
“As long as my ranking is up and I get in to all these tournaments, I don’t see any reason I should stop.”
Alexander Zverev answered doubts about his fitness with a cushty win over Aljaz Bedene within the first spherical of the Australian Open.
The fourth seed completed final season on an actual excessive by beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic again to again to win his largest title at the ATP Finals however arrived in Melbourne nursing a hamstring damage after which rolled an ankle in follow.
He was briefly a break down within the opening set towards Bedene, again representing his native Slovenia after a spell competing for Britain, however from then on was barely troubled in a 6-Four 6-1 6-Four victory.
Eighth seed Kei Nishikori seemed to be in main hassle towards qualifier Kamil Majchrzak when he misplaced the opening two units however the Pole was suffering from cramp early within the third set and ultimately referred to as it a day trailing Three-6 6-7 (6/eight) 6-Zero 6-2 Three-Zero.
Last yr’s semi-finalist Chung Hyeon, the 24th seed, additionally staged a powerful comeback, recovering from two units right down to defeat Bradley Klahn 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (5/7) 6-Three 6-2 6-Four.