This week, during the China Open, world number 37 Pablo Cuevas defeated Ivo Karlovic in the second round 7-6, 7-6. Pablo had just come off of another huge win – brushing off the second seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets – but that was still not enough for him to prevent Ivo from making headlines this week. During their match, Ivo hit 26 aces, officially breaking the ATP record for most aces in a career. He has now hit an almost unbelievable 10,247 aces, surpassing his fellow countryman Goran Ivanisevic’s previous record of 10,237.
Ivo is the world number 18 and he is by far the biggest guy on tour. The soft-spoken Croatian wears size 16 shoes and, standing 6 ft 11 in tall, he is the ATP’s tallest player of all time.
Ironically, Ivo has has a clothing line called 6’ 10”.
Ivo has only played one match where he didn’t hit an ace: versus Gael Monfils at the 2008 Monte Carlo Masters. So, not surprisingly, he has set many more serving records than this week’s alone. In 2007, Ivo became the fourth person to hit 1,000 aces in one season, and he has since done so twice more – in 2014 and 2015. In 2009, Ivo hit 78 aces in a Davis Cup match versus Radek Stepanek. However, that record was later broken at the 2010 Wimbledon by both John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, who hit 113 and 103 aces respectively during the longest recorded tennis match in history (11 hours, 5 minutes). Ivo also currently holds the record for the most aces in a three set match. He hit 45 aces during his 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych at this year’s Gerry Weber Open.
He currently holds the record for the fastest second serve, at 144 mph, which he achieved in 2007 against Paul Capdeville. In 2011, he also broke the record for the fastest first serve, at 156 mph. However, Australian Sam Groth has since beaten that, clocking a serve at 163 mph in 2012. Ivo currently has a 2-0 record against Sam.
Despite his loss to Pablo this week, 2015 has been one of Ivo’s most successful years yet. In addition to his new records, Ivo has had several impressive matches against top players this year. Aside from Tomas, Ivo had big wins over Gilles Simon, Milos Raonic, and Novak Djokovic. Other impressive, recent turnouts include reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon, reaching the finals of the Hall of Fame Championships, and winning the Delray Beach Open, taking out Donald Young in straight sets. Ivo also seems to be improving on his serve even more than he already has. He’s hit an average of 23 aces per match this year. This moved up from 19 in 2014, 17 in 2013, and 10 from way back in 2002.
In addition to the many serving records he holds, Ivo also happens to be the oldest player in the ATP top 200. He’s thirty-six years old, and the next oldest player is world number 113 Michael Berrer, who is thirty-five. Despite how detrimental this may seem, Ivo is confident about the future of his career. As he put it himself, “I’m not done yet.”