Ivo Karlovic is 40 years old, but despite the advancing age he still plays and has fun on the court, thanks to his experience and his incredible service, which still scares his opponents. But not everyone knows that the Croatian risked dying in 2013 due to an insect bite, which led to him contracting viral encephalitis.
“I remember being in my home in Miami in 2013 and I started to notice a strange tingling in my arm. I woke up at 8 am and I thought the reason was that I had slept in an incorrect position. After a few minutes, my wife asked me a question and I was unable to articulate the words.
As the hours passed, I lost sensitivity in my arm and also the ability to speak. At the end of the day, I didn't even remember my name or what year we were in. I couldn't even answer the doctors' questions. I had a lot of headaches and they underwent a lot of tests.
Then I was diagnosed with encephalitis," said Ivo in an interview with the official ATP website.
Ivo Karlovic tells about the problems of the past season
Last year was the toughest for Karlovic: “It was really complicated.
I had lost the desire to train and compete. At the Roland Garros, I went out on the court with the thought of returning home as soon as possible. "When I lost, I didn't feel any pain. Things weren't going as I wanted and I went down a lot in the ranking.
I had to fight myself. I had set myself the goal of playing the Australian Open 2020, if I hadn't made it I would have retired. "So I decided to play five Challenger tournaments at the end of 2019, thus managing to be able to play in Melbourne."
Things went smoothly, as Ivo Karlovic also reached the final in Pune. But after seven years, he still remembers that painful moment and fear and also all the things happened last season.