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  • Karlovic earns place in Belgrade quarterfinals

    5/8/09 5:23 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Karlovic earns place in Belgrade quarterfinals Ivo Karlovic defeats Brian Dabul in the second round of the Serbia Open on Thursday night. He is joined in the quarterfinals by Andreas Seppi, a straight-set winner over Leonardo Mayer.

    Ivo Karlovic blasted 19 aces and never lost serve en route to defeating Brian Dabul 6-4, 7-6(5) in the second round of the inaugural Serbia Open on Friday night. It took Karlovic one hour and 45 minutes to turn back a battling Dabul and book a spot in the Belgrade quarterfinals against Flavio Cipolla.

    Both Karlovic and Dabul held serve throughout almost the entirety of the first set, but it was Karlovic who ran into some early trouble. The 6'10'' Croat saved four break points early in the proceedings to stay on serve. It remained even until Dabul served to stay in the opening frame of play at 5-4. Karlovic squandered his first four set points; first by missing a backhand slice, the second on a Dabul winning backhand volley, the third by sending a forehand return long, and the fourth with a botched overhead. The No. 2 seed finally capitalized on his fifth chance when his opponent sent a backhand well over the baseline.

    Not unlike in the early stages of the first set, Dabul had most of the chances in the second as well. The 108th-ranked Argentine missed all five of his break-point opportunities in set two, while Karlovic squandered just one chance on his opponent's serve. Serving at 83 percent allowed Dabul to force a tiebreaker despite his inability to capitalize in the return game. The underdog seized an early mini-break in the decider, but Karlovic went on a surge for a 6-3 advantage. Dabul saved the first two match points on his own serve, but Karlovic promptly closed out the proceedings with the match on his own racket.

    Meanwhile, Fourth-seeded Andreas Seppi also booked his place in the Belgrade quarterfinals by dispatching Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-1 on Thursday afternoon. Seppi needed just one hour and 12 minutes to set up a Friday meeting with unseeded Marcos Daniel, who upset Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets. The Italian broke Mayer once in the first set and that was enough because he did not face a single break point in his own serve. Mayer was hopeless on serve in set two, getting broken on all four occasions.



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