Ivo Karlovic, currently ranked 100, hit 33 aces in the one hour and 55 minutes. © AFP
Croat Ivo Karlovic on Friday became the oldest man in more than four decades to reach an ATP final after beating Steve Darcis at the Maharashtra Open in Pune. Karlovic, who turns 40 next month, follows in the footsteps of Australian legend Ken Rosewall who reached a tour-level final aged 43 at the Sydney Indoor tournament in 1977. Standing 2.11 meters (6 feet 11 inches) tall, Karlovic defeated Darcis of Belgium 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the first semi-final of the Indian tournament.
“Yes, I know that I am old. But I am happy that I am still here in all these years with (many) ups and downs and injuries. And I am able to do this here is unbelievable,” Karlovic said after the win.
“I have been calm and it has helped me in my career.”
Big-serving Karlovic, currently ranked 100, hit 33 aces in the one hour 55 minute battle against the unranked Darcis, who missed all of 2018 due to injury.
Karlovic, who had already made history this week by becoming the oldest tour-level semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors made the last four at 1993 San Francisco, has now reached seven of his 19 ATP Tour finals after turning 35.
He will play the winner of the second semi-final between world number six Kevin Anderson from South Africa and defending champion Gilles Simon of France.