Karlović Saves Four Match Points to Advance to Next Round in Madrid

Total Croatia News

Croatian tennis player Ivo Karlović is through to the second round of the ATP Master Series tournament in Madrid, defeating Spanish Roberto Bautista with 7-6 (4), 6-7 (9), 7-6 (7) after exactly three hours of play

This was the first mutual duel of Karlović and Bautista, current ‘neighbours’ in the ATP rankings, with Karlović 22nd and Bautista 21st. The match offered plenty of suspense, with both players close to victory, playing tie-breaks in all sets. Karlović made good on his seventh match point, while Bautista failed to make use of four such opportunities, Jutarnji List reported on May 9, 2017.

In the fourth game of the first set Karlović came to 0-40. He began the game with two double errors, but got out of the situation with five points in a row and three aces. In the next game the tennis veteran had his only break-point in the first set, but did not use it. Trailing at 4-5 he was faced with a break and set-point by the Spaniard, saving it with his strongest weapon – an ace.

The key moment of the tie-break of the first set was the ninth point when at 4-4 Karlović played an excellent volley to reach a mini-break, using excellent serves to win that stretch.

Both players held on to their services until Karlović led 5-4, when the Croatian player had three match points. He was close to ending the match but failed to attack properly in exchanges from the baseline. The decisive game of the second set offered two new match points for Karlović, both on the service of Bautista.

The third set went down similarly to the second, with both players holding on to their service until 5-4, this time for Bautista, when Karlović faced a break and a match point. He played the point well with an excellent volley and smash to take the point. When he served to stay in the match at 5-6, Karlović also faced two match points for his opponent. The first was saved with a smash, the second with an excellent service.

The nerve-game in the tie-break of the third set saw both players save one match point each, while Karlović took advantage of his second match point of the set, seventh in total.

Karlović will play against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.


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