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Ace machine Ivo Karlovic retires from the sport at age 44

Ace machine Ivo Karlovic retires from the sport at age 44

Ivo Karlovic, the tall Croatian known for his powerful serve, has announced his retirement from tennis, more than two years after his final competitive match. Karlovic, who is 6 feet 11 inches, stated in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday that “I’ve had a very gratifying, unorthodox, and long career coming from extremely humble beginnings, especially for a tennis player.”

Karlovic, who turns 45 next Friday, last played an ATP match in October 2021, losing in the second round of qualifying at Indian Wells, California. His last Grand Slam encounter was a first-round singles loss at the US Open almost six weeks ago. Also read: Oscar-Winning Director Asif Kapadia to direct Prime Video doc on Roger Federer

“Some of you have noticed that it’s been a while since I played a tournament and still ask me on a daily basis if and when I’ll be returning to the tour,” he wrote. “I’m sorry to disappoint, but with this letter, I want to make it official and finally announce my retirement.”

Karlovic rose to prominence in 2003, when he qualified for Wimbledon and defeated defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round at the All England Club.

Karlovic’s maiden Grand Slam tournament match resulted in Hewitt becoming the first reigning Wimbledon champion to lose in the first round since the Open era began in 1968.

Karlovic concluded his 25-year career with eight singles titles, 371 wins, 346 defeats, and $10.1 million in prize money. His greatest singles rating was No. 14 in August 2008. His best Grand Slam singles performance came at Wimbledon in 2009, when he reached the quarterfinals. He also won the Davis Cup in 2005 with Croatia, defeating Slovakia in the final for the country’s first title. Also read: Nicolas Jarry upsets Carlos Alcaraz to reach Argentina Open final

Karlovic’s last tour victory came in the first round of the Hall of Fame Open in 2021, at the age of 42. He was the oldest player to win an ATP Tour match since Jimmy Connors in 1995.

He concluded his career with 13,728 aces, second only to John Isner, who had 14,470. Karlovic had the most aces in a best-of-three-set match at Halle in 2015, with 45, and two weeks later at Wimbledon, he became the only player to hit at least 40 aces in three consecutive matches. Boris Becker, a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, was among those who congratulated Karlovic on X, calling his serve “the best in tennis.”

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