Croats in Australian Open: Ćorić and Karlović Advance to Second Round!

Daniela Rogulj

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Croatian tennis players Borna Ćorić and Ivo Karlovič have advanced to the 2nd round of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open, after eliminating their rivals Belgian player Steve Darcis and Polish player Hubert Hurkacz in the first round.

Ivo Karlović defeated Polish player Hubert Hurkacz in the first round after three hours and ten minutes of play. Karlović won 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5) in the very equal match where each set was decided through a tie break. The players lost only one service each, reports on January 15, 2019. 

Karlović served 39 aces and was better than Hurkacz in the first service (86 percent to 82 percent), while the Polish player was better in the second service he (69 percent to 55 percent). Karlović had more unforced errors, as many as 49, while Hurkacz made 20. Just how balanced this game was could be seen by the fact that the Croatian tennis player scored 152 points in the end, while Hurkacz scored only one less.

This was the first time Karlović (ATP-73) and Hurkacz (ATP-76) ever met. In the second round, Karlović awaits the 8th-seed, Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori, with whom he has played against five times and lost three times.

Borna Ćorić had the much easier match, defeating Belgian player Steve Darcis (ATP-321) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 after two hours of play. Ćorić did not lose any of his services in the match, took four from his rival, and served 16 aces while Darcis served 11.

This was their first encounter between Ćorić and Darcis and the first time Ćorić won the first round at the Australian Open.

In the second round, Ćorić, who is the 11th-seed at the tournament, will play Hungarian player Marton Fucsovics, the 38th best tennis player in the world, for what will be their first match together. 

Donna Vekić, Petra Martić, and Marin Čilić all advanced to the second round the day before. 

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