Former world No. 14 Ivo Karlovic was happy that he managed to recover from a set down and start his Newport campaign with a win. Karlovic, now ranked at No. 210 in the world, beat Barnabe Zapata Miralles 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4 to reach the Newport round-of-16.
Karlovic lost a tight opener but he bounced back in the following two sets to claim a comeback win. “It was really difficult after losing that tie-break, but after that I just continued. I was a little bit more aggressive and it paid off at the end,” Karlovic said in an on-court interview.
“It’s always nice to be here in Newport, especially this week as there is no more ‘bubble’ and everything is open again. That is really, really nice”.
Karlovic bounced back after the first set
Zapata Miralles had the first break points of the match in the second game but Karlovic saved two break points to tie the opener at one game apiece.
As not a single break point was seen in the rest of the first set, the opener had to be resolved in a tie-break. In the first-set tie-break, Karlovic had a 4-2 lead before Zapata Miralles won three consecutive points to take a 5-4 lead.
Karlovic tied the tie-break at five points apiece but Zapata Miralles then won the following two points to win a tight tie-break. After winning a tight opener, Zapata Miralles had a great chance to start the second set with a break but Karlovic saved three consecutive break points and in the game a fourth break point to win the opening game of the set.
After surviving a tough first game of the second set, Karlovic also won the following four games to take a 5-0 lead. Zapata Miralles served out the sixth game to end Karlovic's run but the Croatian served out for the second set in the following game.
Zapata Miralles saved three break points in the opening game of the third set and more break point in the seventh game. But he couldn't do the same in the ninth as Karlovic broke to take a 5-4 lead before serving out for the match in the following game.