Late-Night Gym Sessions Part Of Usual Routine For Age-Defying Ivo Karlovic - UBITENNIS
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Late-Night Gym Sessions Part Of Usual Routine For Age-Defying Ivo Karlovic

The oldest man in this year’s French Open draw believes he still has time to add more to his ATP title collection.

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Ivo Karlovic in action during the 2017 Madrid Masters (photo by Gianni Ciaccia)

Ivo Karlovic is proof that age is just a number for many players on the professional tour.

 

The 40-year-old Croat is getting use to breaking records due to his age. This year he has already set a benchmark as the oldest player to win a Masters 1000 matches in Indian Wells. In 2018 he became the oldest player in history to win a Challenger title in Calgary and the oldest to contest an ATP final since 1977.

Karlovic’s latest milestone occurred at the French Open. A tournament where he made his debut back in 2004 at the age of 25. Taking on Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the first round, he prevailed over four tightly contested sets. The combined age of that match was 77 (Lopez is 37-years-old) in what is a new grand slam record.

“It means a lot. Even though it’s in the record books as the oldest one, at least it’s in the record books, so I like it,” Karlovic told reporters in Paris.
“I was out for almost two months, so I am really happy that I was able to win today.”

The last time a man older than Karlovic won a grand slam match occurred a year before he was even born. In 1978 Australian great Ken Rosewall reached the fourth round of his home grand slam at the age of 43. That tournament was Rosewall’s last ever grand slam.

In recent years there has been a rise in players playing later in their careers. Currently, there are 36 players in their 30s ranked inside the world’s top 100. 11 of which are over the age of 34. Nevertheless, Karlovic is still the exception as he balances life as a husband and father, with the sport.

“After I drive my daughter to school I would go and hit and after I was home resting,” said Karlovic, who says he sleeps an average of five hours a night.
“In the evening when they go to bed, which is almost at around 11, then I would go to the gym. In the night. I’m happy because there is a gym open in the night.”

The hunger for success is part of what continues to drive Karlovic on the tour. So far in his career, he has won eight titles on the ATP Tour with the last occurring back in 2016. He is currently ranked 94th in the world, which is 80 places before the career best he first achieved back in 2008. Before this year’s French Open, he has won just over $9.5 million in prize money. The 77th highest amount of all time.

“I would like to do that. That’s what I always try to do but I know that it isn’t easy, it’s real difficult,” Karlovic commented about adding to his title collection.
“Everybody’s strong and good, but you know, who knows. I think I train hard and I have the experience, the edge, so who knows.”

Karlovic will play Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the second round of the French Open on Thursday.

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Ugo Humbert claims the first title of his career after winning all-French final against Benoit Paire in Auckland

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Twenty-one year-old Ugo Humbert beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 34 minutes in the all-French final of the ASB Classic in Auckland to claim the first title of his career.

 

Humbert has become the first French player to win the Auckland tournament. He enjoyed a great week beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner en route to reaching the final.

Humbert earned the first break of the match in the second game after a double fault from Paire and held his serve with a service winner in the next game to open up a 3-0 lead. Paire broke back in the fifth game with a backand return winner. Humbert broke serve again in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Paire broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Humbert earned three set points, when Paire was serving at 5-6. Humbert reeled off five consecutive points from 2-2 to claim the tie-break with three mini-break after a forehand error from Paire.

Paire fended off three break points in the third game of the second set before breaking serve in the fourth game after a double fault from Humbert. Paire saved a break point at 5-3 with an ace and closed out the second set with a backhand down the line winner.

Humbert earned an early break in the second game of the decider with a backhand crosscourt passing shot, before saving three break points at 4-2. Paire hit three consecutive backhand winners, as Humbert was serving for the match at 5-3 30-0. Paire got the crucial break in the next point, when Humbert sent a forehand long. Paire saved a championship point with a backhand volley winner in the 10th game. Paire held his serve with a backhand volley winner to draw level to 5-5. Paire rallied from 0-30 down in the 12th game to force the decisive set to the tie-break.

Humbert earned a mini-break on the sixth point with a forehand return to take a 4-2 lead and earned three championship points at 6-3. Humbert sealed the win on his third chance when Paire sent a backhand wide after 2 hours and 35 minutes.

“It’s a tournament of revenge because I have lost to four of five players I played this week. It’s a great improvement for me and I could not dream of a beginning for the season”, said Humbert.

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Andrey Rublev starts the year with back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide

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Andrey Rublev beat South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 6-3 6-0 to clinch the fourth title of his career at the first edition of the Adelaide International and his second title of the 2020 season one week after beating Corentin Moutet in Doha. Rublev saved all four break points he faced. He has extended his winning streak to 12 consecutive matches.

 

Rublev has become the first player to win back-to-back titles in the first two weeks of the year since 2004, when Dominik Hrbary triumphed in Adelaide and Auckland.

“I was not thinking about this statistic, but it’s an amazing feeling. I hope I keep improving. We will see what’s going to happen”, said Rublev.

Rublev earned the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. The 22-year-old Russian player rallied from 0-40 down to hold serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and served out the first set 6-3 two games later.

Rublev started the second set with his second break in the first game. He got two more breaks before clinching the win on his first match point, when he forced Harris to a backhand error with a short volley.

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Benoit Paire sets up all-French final against Ugo Humbert in Auckland

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Benoit Paire battled past Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 with six breaks of serve to his ninth career ATP Tour final at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

 

Paire went up a double break in the first and seventh games to build up a 5-2 lead. Hurkacz pulled a break back after two double faults after two double faults from Paire. The Frenchman served out at love in the 10th game.

Paire went up a break at 15 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hurkacz broke back at love to draw level to 3-3. Both players held on their next service games setting up a tie-break. Hurkacz cruised through to winning the tie-break 7-1.

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set Paire broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to seal the decider 6-2.

“It was not easy. Not everything was perfect, but it is never easy against Hubert. He is a very good player and a tough opponent. I hope tomorrow will be better and I hope to enjoy the final”,said Paire.

Paire sets up an all-French final against his compatriot Ugo Humbert, who edged past John Isner 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Humbert has reached the maiden final of his career after losing in the semifinal in Marseille, Newport and Antwerp in 2019.

Humbert and Isner went on serve with no breaks to set up a tie-break. Isner saved two set points from 3-6 but Humbert won the tie-break 7-5. Humbert started the second set with an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Isner saved five break points and held his serve at deuce, but Humbert won his final two service games at love to clinch the second set 6-4.

“I am really happy about this win. It was a great match. I returned very well and I played good on the key points. I am really happy to reach my first final”,said Humbert.

 

 

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