Ranked outside the top-200, Ivo Karlovic delivered the best possible debut at Wimbledon in 2003, dethroning Lleyton Hewitt en route to the third round. Overall, Ivo has scored 16 wins at the All England Club before this year's edition, playing in the quarter-final ten years ago and in the fourth round in 2015, losing those matches to Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
One of the oldest competitors left in the ATP ranking is still the force to be reckoned with on grass, entering his 15th Wimbledon and defeating Andrea Arnaboldi 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 41 minutes to book the place in the second round.
Thus, Ivo has become the first 40-year-old player with a triumph at Wimbledon since Ken Rosewall in 1975 and the oldest at Majors overall since Rosewall at the Australian Open in 1978! Serving at 72%, Ivo lost only 14 points behind the initial shot against the Italian, blasting 53 service winners and never facing a break point!
On the other hand, the veteran claimed 30% of the return points, converting two out of four break points and sealing the deal in straight sets with 50 winners and 23 unforced errors. After eight powerful holds on both sides, Karlovic grabbed a break for a 5-4 lead, forcing a mistake from Andrea after a well-constructed attack and closing the set with a service winner in the next game.
The Italian faced more problems at 3-3 in set number two, suffering a break when Ivo landed a volley winner and allowing the Croat to secure the set with a nice hold in game ten for two sets to love lead. Returners had nothing to work with in the third set before the tie break where Ivo grabbed an early mini-break, losing the edge following a forehand winner from Arnaboldi in the third point.
At 4-4, Andrea sent a volley long and Ivo sealed the deal with two service winners for the victory and the place in the record books.