Ivo Karlovic competed on the ATP Tour for the last time in 2021, playing well at 41 and qualifying for the US Open main draw! Three years earlier, the veteran scored a win at Wimbledon at 39, becoming the oldest player with a victory at Majors since Jimmy Connors at the 1992 US Open!
Ivo beat Mikhail in four sets and became the oldest player with a win at Wimbledon since Ken Rosewall in 1975! The Croat was a late bloomer, failing to qualify for the main draw at Majors on ten occasions before achieving that at Wimbledon 2003.
On June 23, the giant server stepped on the Centre Court against the defending champion Lleyton Hewitt. Showing no sign of nerves, Ivo produced one of the biggest upsets ever, ousting the Aussie in four sets after a terrible start to make a perfect start of his Major journey.
Fifteen years later, the 39-year-old Karlovic notched his 50th Major win at Wimbledon in the opening round against Mikhail Youzhny, earning a notable achievement and entering the record books.
Ivo Karlovic earned a nice record at Wimbledon 2018, but that was not all from him!
It was the oldest encounter at Majors since 1978 (Youzhny was also a veteran), and Ivo prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 in two hours and 40 minutes. Karlovic fired 67 service winners and defended six out of eight break points.
Youzhny claimed only six points less than Karlovic and stayed competitive. However, the Russian lost the crucial points, especially in sets two and three, including four set points in the latter. Mikhail hit a double fault in the encounter's first game and experienced an early break.
Ivo responded with a double fault in the second game, losing serve at love and bringing the rival back to 1-1. Mikhail defended two break points in the fifth game, and they both served well in the next four games. Youzhny grabbed a break at 5-4 with a return winner to wrap up the opener and gain a boost.
Karlovic repelled two break points in the second set's second game, and nothing could separate them until game 11. The Croat grabbed a break at 15 after a deep return to take a 6-5 lead and serve for the set. Ivo closed it with four service winners and accumulated a massive boost ahead of the rest of the match, taking the pressure off his back.
It was a rock-solid serving from both in the third set's first nine games, and Ivo saved a set point with an ace in game ten to prolong the battle. The Croat arranged a tie break that brought more drama and excitement. Mikhail had three set points at 6-3, but it was not to be for him.
Karlovic saved them with two service winners and a fantastic volley at the net to level the score at 6-6. Firing from all cylinders, Ivo clinched another mini-break in the 16th point to wrap up the set and move closer to the finish line.
Youzhny had a chance to extend the match in the fourth set. He missed a break chance in the third game and paid the price in the next one when Ivo scored a break and opened a 3-1 lead. The Croat needed no second chance to bring the victory home from there, firing three service winners at 5-3 to march into the second round as the oldest winner of a Major match in 26 years!