Karlovic Tested In Newport; Johnson Advances
Second seed Ivo Karlovic prevails, while third seed Bernard Tomic falls
Ivo Karlovic survived a scare in his first-round match Monday at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport.
The No. 2 seed and returning finalist prevailed against Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-4 after two hours and 23 minutes. After failing to capitalise on a match point opportunity in the second set tie-break, Karlovic secured the only service break of the match in the seventh game of the third set.
Karlovic, who has his sights set on Goran Ivanisevic’s all-time aces record, struck 11 past Marchenko. The 36 year old fired 165 aces through four matches at Wimbledon, his highest total at a single tournament.
“It was a very tough match today,” said Smith. “It’s a great win. I’ve known him since I was a kid; we get along great. It’s always tough playing a friend out there.”
The 22-year-old Tomic was bidding for his 20th tour-level grass-court victory following a third-round showing at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic).
“It was tough to find a rhythm, and he was playing good," said Tomic. "Full credit to him."
Seventh seed Steve Johnson beat Michael Berrer 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-2 to win his 20th match of the season. The 25-year-old American saved five of the six break points he faced to advance to the second round in one hour and 45 minutes.
“It’s always great to get a win,” said Johnson. “I’m going to go work on the game and get better for Wednesday. It’s always great to be tested. You can learn a lot more from those kinds of matches.”
"It is truly special from the heart, looking around the stands and seeing all my friends and people I’ve known my entire life," said the 18 year old.