Lawn Tennis, Paris Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Lleyton Hewitt Wins Despite Ivo Karlovic's Record 55 Aces
By Burton Vanderfliet, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2009 5:39pm PST USA
Lleyton Hewitt Wins Despite Ivo Karlovic's Record 55 Aces, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009, Lawn Tennis Magazine Paris--( The French Open began with several bangs on day one as the tallest ATP Tour player Ivo Karlovic of Croatia struck a tournament record 55 aces on Court 1 but was unable to stop Lleyton Hewitt of Australia from advancing to round two after a 6-7(1-7), 6-7(4-7), 7-6(7-4), 6-4, 6-3 win.

The big serving Karlovic, at 6 feet 10 inches, playing his first ever grand slam match at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships' first round stunned Hewitt, who was the defending champion 1-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-3, 6-4.

“The angle he gets, you can't touch a lot of his serves,” Hewitt said. “It's physically impossible.”

Prior to today's match-up, Karlovic, seeded 26th at Paris, had lead the unseeded Hewitt head to head 3-0. However the two had never faced off on clay; a slower surface which would reward Hewitt's defense more than Karlovic's offense.

Today the 28 year old Hewitt, after dropping the first two sets behind booming Karlovic aces, mentally and physically outlasted the 30 year old as the courtside temperate began to soar and the Croat grew increasingly fatigued in the middle and later stages of the contest.

“It was like I had no energy,” Karlovic said. “I could not run.”

Lleyton Hewitt of the USA | Image: Getty Images
Lawn Tennis Magazine, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009
“The angle he gets, you can't touch a lot of his serves,” Hewitt said. “It's physically impossible.”

Karlovic's fastest ever serve at 153 miles per hour falls only slightly behind the American Andy Roddick's 155 miles per hour fastest serve ever.

Hewitt, an oftentimes aggressive baseline counterpuncher, won the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002. The Australian first topped the ATP Tour's world rankings in November of 2001 before missing several months of competition last year due to a hip injury.

In other men's tennis action, the 3rd seeded Andy Murray of Britain and the 20th seeded Marat Safin of Russia both advanced in straight sets while Robert Kendrick of the USA took a rare American French Open win as he completed a 6-7(7-9), 7-5, 7-6(11-9), 4-6, 6-3 win versus Daniel Brands of Germany.

Victorious today in the women's field was the defending champion and the 8th seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia who defeated Sara Errani of Italy 7-6(7-3), 6-3. However the former world number one and 16th seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France, still struggling to regain her past form, was upset 6-4, 6-3 by Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany.

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