PBZ Zagreb Indoors, Croatia
[CR25] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) vs. [CR67] Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
As I watched Karlovic playing against Baghdatis I was struck by the contrast in their serves. Karlovic is well-known for the speed of his serve and his ability to serve aces. I was curious to find out how many titles he had won in his career. Surely, with such a big serve he must have won a lot of tournaments. I was surprised to discover he has only won five singles titles. He turned pro in 2000, the same year as Andy Roddick, who is also known for his serving ability. It’s interesting to note that Roddick won thirty-two singles titles, including the US Open. Why has Karlovic not won more titles given his massive serve?
As the match progressed, the reasons for his lack of success became evident. Despite his great serving ability and a decent volley game, he lacks mobility and struggles when the ball is low. He is also not as mentally and physically fit as he should be. Although he won the first set due to sloppy play by Baghdatis, Karlovic knew that Baghdatis is a fiery competitor. Baghdatis is confident and his passion for the game has returned. He has beaten Karlovic before and knew he could do it again, if he focused on executing his shots and minimized his errors. Baghdatis played with conviction and won the match 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(7).