Karlovic Awarded Wild Card for ITHF
NEWPORT, R.I. — Ivo Karlovic, who famously fired a 156 mph world record-setting serve in March, will bring his big serving game to Newport, Rhode Island this summer to compete in the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Karlovic has been awarded a wild card for the tournament, which will be hosted July 4 - 10, 2011 on the grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Also scheduled to compete are defending champion and No. 1 American Mardy Fish and rising star young American Ryan Harrison.
At 6 feet, 10 inches tall, Karlovic is the tallest player on the ATP World Tour, and he has used his height to his advantage to develop tricky angles on his extraordinarily fast, powerful serve that has been regarded as the best in tennis by Roger Federer and “the scariest weapon in tennis” by fellow big server Andy Roddick. At a Davis Cup match between Croatia and Germany on March 5, 2011 Karlovic recorded at 156 mph serve, which is the fastest serve in history. It topped a 155 mph serve hit by Andy Roddick during the Davis Cup semifinals in 2004.
At the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston this week, Karlovic, a past champion at the event, qualified for a main draw spot and went on to upset the tournament’s No. 5 seed, Benjamin Becker. During qualifying rounds, Karlovic fired 50 aces in three matches, including 29 during his second round match, which would have been a tournament record had it occurred during a main draw match. On Friday, Karlovic will meet world No. 29 John Isner in the quarterfinals - a match up that is drawing particular attention due to the players’ extraordinary heights - Isner is 6’9” and Karlovic is 6’10”.
“With his incredible power, Ivo is an exciting player to watch, and I know the fans in Newport will enjoy seeing him compete,” said Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning. “It’s been great to see him make a comeback after his injury, and we’re pleased to welcome him to Newport this summer.”
Karlovic returned to tournament competition in January after an Achilles injury forced him to stop playing in May of last year. In his comeback tournament this year, Karlovic made it to the quarterfinals at Doha. At Indian Wells, he defeated three top-50 players before falling to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals in an intense three set match with a score of 7-5, 1-6, 6-7(7).
Last season, Karlovic finished in the Top 75 for the seventh time in past eight years, despite missing the last six months of the season. Prior to having to stop playing, he compiled a 13-5 record, reaching quarterfinals in Doha, Zagreb and Memphis, along with the final in Delray Beach. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Karlovic finished the season in the Top 40. He reached a career high No. 14 in 2008.
Karlovic is a four-time singles champion on the ATP World Tour, and he was a member of Croatia’s championship Davis Cup team in 2005.
The Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships immediately follows Wimbledon and draws 32 top ATP World Tour players and to compete on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It is the only grass court pro tournament in North America.
Tickets for tournament are on sale now. Members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame save 30% on all tickets for Monday - Thursday sessions. To purchase tickets or learn more about the tournament or Hall of Fame membership, visit tennisfame.com or call 401-849-6053 or 866-914-FAME (3263).
A highlight of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will be the International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 12:00 p.m., prior to the tournament’s semifinal matches. The one and only Andre Agassi, former world No. 1, eight-time grand slam champion, and one of the most revered athletes in history is the sole inductee in the Recent Player Category. In the Contributor Category, Peachy Kellmeyer, who was the very first employee and director of the WTA in 1973 and still serves the organization today, will be inducted for her immense contributions in the development of women’s tennis. Additionally, a variety of special events including Family Weekend, free tennis lessons, and the Angela Moore Fashion Show will complement another exciting week of ATP World Tour tennis.
For additional information, please call the Tournament Office at 401-849-6053 or 866-914-FAME (3263) or visit tennisfame.com.
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