Indian Wells Masters: Veteran Karlović Defies Age to Overcome Ćorić

Daniela Rogulj

Just 92 minutes were needed for 40-year-old Ivo Karlović to overcome Borna Ćorić 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the second round of the Masters 1000 Series tournament in Indian Wells, reports HRT on March 9, 2019. 

It was Karlović’s third win in the same number of official matches against his fellow countryman and rival 18 years his junior. While the first two duels could still be attributed to Ćorić’s lack of experience, as they happened in 2015 and 2016, the defeat at Indian Wells, where Borna was the 11th-seed of the tournament, is indeed an indication that Karlović has a game for his younger compatriot.

Since Jimmy Connors in the 1995 tournament in Halle, no 40-year-old has managed to combine two victories on the ATP Tour. How Karlović beat Ćorić gives him the right to have something to hope for in the next round, where Indian tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be on the other side of the net.

In the first set, Karlović missed two chances to break before making the third break in the tenth game and thus won the first set of the match. In the second set, Ćorić went on to take over Karlović’s service, but he lost the acquired advantage in the next game. There was no new chance to break in the second set until the 13th game. Karlović again prevailed and left Ćorić with only two points.

“Dr. Ivo” had 20 aces in this duel but won the match thanks to the excellent realization of points against Ćorić’s first service. Namely, Borna won only 58% of the points after the first service, and 76% after the second, which is a very unusual statistic.

As last year’s semi-finalist in Indian Wells, Ćorić threatens to lose a few places on the ATP rankings, and Karlović, entering the 3rd round, pushes him to the top 80 in the world.

On Sunday, around 9:30 pm Central European time, Marin Čilić will play his second-round game. The 10th-seed at the start of the tournament awaits Serbian tennis player Dušan Lajovic, who is 45th on the ATP ranking. Čilić leads 2-0 in mutual duels.

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