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  • Karlovic and Stepanek open Croatia vs. Czech Republic

    9/18/09 2:05 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Karlovic and Stepanek open Croatia vs. Czech Republic Ivo Karlovic looks to give host nation Croatia a critical 1-0 lead against the Czech Republic on Friday. Karlovic faces tricky opponent Radek Stepanek in the first singles rubber of the tie, to be contested on an indoor clay-court.

    (31) Ivo Karlovic vs. (17) Radek Stepanek

    Radek Stepanek squares off against Ivo Karlovic for the third time on Friday. The veteran Czech is 2-0 lifetime over Karlovic, although the players have not battled since 2005. Stepanek clinched the 3-2 win for the Czech Republic’s quarterfinal tie with Argentina in July. The 30-year-old, currently ranked 17th in the world, took out Juan Monaco 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final match of the tie.

    Stepanek has enjoyed another solid year, having won an ATP World Tour title in Brisbane and San Jose. The Czech advanced to the round of 16 at the US Open before falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

    The Czech Republic makes its return to Davis Cup semifinals competition for the first time since 1996 (lost to Sweden).

    Karlovic proved to be a key factor in host nation Croatia’s quarterfinal victory over the US. The veteran, digging his way out of a two-set deficit in the opening rubber against James Blake, prevailed 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 to give his nation a 1-0 advantage.

    The 31st-ranked Karlovic aims to rebound after a disappointing summer hard-court season. The 30-year-old lost in the opening round of both the Rogers Cup (lost to Haas) and the US Open (lost to Navarro). Karlovic made his deepest run on clay in Belgrade where he advanced to the semifinals.

    Croatia has captured 11 of its last 12 ties at home.



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Comments

Karlovic is about to set the ace record

RickyDimon , 9/18/09 6:04 PM


What is the record and by whom Ricky?

fan4tennis , 9/18/09 7:54 PM


Karlovic already had it at 55

now he has it at 78

Stepanek wins 16-14 in the 5th

RickyDimon , 9/18/09 8:13 PM


WOW.......78??? Why did it go to 5 sets--lol?

fan4tennis , 9/18/09 8:20 PM


because Stepanek won 2 of the 4 tiebreakers

he was asked after the match how it felt to get aced 78 times

he said, "It feels great."

RickyDimon , 9/18/09 8:21 PM


That wasn't a nice question. What else could he say?

fan4tennis , 9/18/09 8:49 PM


That record will probably stand for a loooong time

Funny that he beat his own record in a defeat and his previous record was also in a defeat

SGHIceman , 9/18/09 10:33 PM


Credit to Stepanek for surviving 78 aces. Karlovic must be frustrated that inspite of his big serving advantage he still lost, I wish I'd seen the match.

carrie , 9/18/09 11:08 PM


That just goes to show that you need more than just a serve to win the match. Kudos to Stepanek.

carrie... I think it would be a very boring match to watch. Majority of points would have been decided in 1, 2 or at most 3 shots.

cable , 9/19/09 1:54 AM


Cable - I think everyone (players especially) already figured that out.

That's why Isner is now ranked 39th in the world as opposed to 139th!

RickyDimon , 9/19/09 5:17 AM


all serve this muglovic. doubt he is in the top 500 without being able to serve out of a tree!

trixxyfest , 9/19/09 5:37 AM


How is it that you can serve 78 aces - that's almost 20 free games! - and still lose? Because the rest of your game is crap.

sukhumvit , 9/19/09 5:46 AM


Ricky - everyone has figured it out except for Karlovic :P

cable , 9/19/09 7:59 AM



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