Ivo Karlovic writes Masters 1000 history as the first 40-year-old player..



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Ivo Karlovic writes Masters 1000 history as the first 40-year-old player..

On the latest ATP ranking list, we can find nine players who turned 37 and the most prominent of those are world no. 4 Roger Federer and Ivo Karlovic, the oldest ranked member of the reduced ATP list. The Croat won just 11 ATP matches in 2018 and was forced to play Challengers for the first time since 2013 to improve ranking, becoming the oldest champion at that level in Calgary at the age of 39 years and seven months.

That was enough to propel him into the year-end top-100, becoming the third-oldest year-end top-100 player in the Open era behind Ken Rosewall and Jimmy Connors, the oldest one since 1992! At the beginning of 2019, Ivo grabbed more age records, reaching the final in Pune as the oldest player in the ATP title match since Ken Rosewall in Hong Kong 1977!

Ivo led 5-2 in the deciding tie break before dropping the last five points to hand the title to Kevin, losing four matches in a row in the next four tournaments and playing 19 tie breaks in ten encounters! Despite his age, Ivo is still as dangerous on serve as ever, showing that once again at Indian Wells in the opening round against Matthew Ebden, beating the Aussie 7-6, 7-6 (how else!) in an hour and 49 minutes to win the first match after turning 40 and grab another age record.

Ivo has become the first 40-year-old winner of the ATP match since great Ken Rosewall in Halle 1995 and also the oldest player with Masters 1000 triumph, passing Connors who was 39 years and six months old in Miami 1992 when he defeated Tomas Carbonell before losing to Pete Sampras.

Ivo won six points more overall, creating that gap in tie breaks as nothing could separate them in regular games, with both saving four out five break points to stay neck and neck. Karlovic fended off three break points in the opening set and closed it with an ace at 6-3 in the tie break, trailing 5-3 in set number two before pulling the break back in game ten when Ebden hit a double fault.

Karlovic scored five mini-breaks in the tie break, winning it 7-3 to seal the deal and write history. The oldest Masters 1000 match winners: