In this season’s first Masters 1000 series tournament in Indian Wells, 40-year-old Ivo Karlović secured his first win by knocking out 31-year-old Australian player Matthew Ebden (ATP-49) with a score of 7-6 (3) 7-6 (3) after one hour and 49 minutes of play. In the second round of the tournament, Karlović will play against the 11th-seed and fellow countryman, Borna Ćorić, reports 24 Sata on March 8, 2019.
Karlović came to the victory in a unique way, through two tiebreaks in which he was superior, and in the second set, he managed to compensate for the loss of one service.
Karlović saved all three breaks in the first set and missed one – and at the start of the second set, in the second game, Ebden managed to pull 0-40 to prevent the Croatian veteran from reaching a more significant advantage. The Australian managed to get out of his crisis, and in the fifth game, had a break that he kept until the moment when his service was supposed to secure the second set. Though that match point never came.
With a tiebreak Karlović was once again prevailed, just like in the first, and reached his first win in Indian Wells after 2014, ending a series of four consecutive defeats at the BNP Paribas Open where his best result was the quarterfinal in 2011. Karlović managed his second win over Ebden and now equalizes the Australian in mutual duels (2-2).
Both players took advantage of one of five breaks, though Karlović had significantly better use of the first service than the Australian.
His next rival is last year’s semifinalist in Indian Wells and fellow countryman, 22-year-old Borna Ćorić. Ćorić currently leads 2-0 head-to-head with Karlović, though those games were played in 2015 and 2016 in Bucharest and Wimbledon when Ćorić was not entirely on the same qualitative level as he is today, even though he had already been named one of the highest hopes of world tennis.
Borna comes to Indian Wells off of a great result from the ATP tournament in Dubai, where he lost in the semifinal to the legendary Roger Federer 2-0 (6-2, 6-2).
Karlović and Ćorić will play their match on Saturday night in California, or Sunday morning Central European time.
Marin Čilić is also competing in this tournament, where he will play Serbian player Dušan Lajović in the second round on Sunday.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.