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The Secret Of My Success
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:21am PST USA
The Secret Of My Success, Ivo Karlovic, Wimbledon 2009, Lawn Tennis Magazine London--( Two inches shy of being a seven-footer, the Wimbledon men's fourth rounder Ivo Karlovic of Croatia is a giant among giants who executes the ATP Tour's greatest serve ever for devastating service results.

It's no secret how the 30 year old Karlovic has reached week two this year at Wimbledon. Karlovic's serve oftentimes is unplayable no matter the surface of the tennis court.

Last month at the French Open, the 36th ranked Karlovic hit a ATP Tour record 55 aces in one match on the slowest of the four surfaces; clay.

Ivo Karlovic Of Croatia | Image: Reuters
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A giant among giants, Karlovic executes the ATP Tour's greatest serve ever for devastating service results.

And in his first three matches at Wimbledon, the Croat delivered a tournament leading 102 aces and held serve in all 56 of his service games. Karlovic also tops this year's Wimbledon fastest serve list at 141 miles per hour.

The 6 feet 10 inches tall, Karlovic is the ATP Tour's tallest player ever and effectively uses his height to his advantage as he holds several tour service records.

In 2007, Karlovic struck a 144 miles per hour second serve, the fastest second serve ever. Last year he led the ATP Tour with total number of aces struck for the year and first serve points won.

Karlovic turned professional in 2000 and in 2003 defeated the Wimbledon defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round. Karlovic towered over the 5 feet 11 inches tall Australian by 11 inches.

The Croat has won two of his four career ATP Tour titles on grasscourts; at Nottingham in 2007 and 2008. In the 2008 Nottingham final, Karlovic defeated Fernando Veradsco of Spain in three tiebreakers.

The 22nd seeded Karlovic and the 7th seeded Verdasco are set to face off again Monday at Wimbledon in the fourth round. Head to head Karlovic leads Verdasco 2-1. The winner most likely is to meet the five time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Federer suffered his only career loss to Karlovic last summer in the Cincinnati round of sixteen 7-6(8-6), 4-6, 7-6(7-5).

Karlovic is often criticized for being a one note player, however at Wimbledon many points are set up or won outright by overpowering serves. The WTA Tour's fastest server ever, the American Venus Williams has won Wimbledon five of the last nine years.

Williams' fellow American and the 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick has called Karlovic's serve “probably the biggest weapon in tennis” although Roddick's record breaking serve of 155 miles per hour beats Karlovic's fastest serve speed recorded of 153 miles per hour.

In his third round upset of the ninth seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, Karlovic slammed 46 aces. And by reaching this year's Wimbledon round of sixteen, Karlovic has equalled his prior best grand slam performance which also occurred at Wimbledon in 2004.

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