We are talking about players who possesses the best services of the game, the Croatians, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivo Karlovic.
Before I was threatened at gun point, molested and was forced to accept that Roger Federer also has a good service which often goes under rated, I totally accept that the Swiss has a serve that wins him cheap points but he cannot hit aces at will. Federer finds that extra zing to his serve when he is serving for the match.
That is the definition of best services as far this article is concerned—pure ace hitting machines—and the two Croatians are the default candidates to make the list with their past credentials.
Goran Ivanisevic is a lefty and stands at 6'4". He is known for his placing his serves in the service box with laser like precision. He has a typical service motion and one gets a feeling that he is extending his left arm like how one stretches the string of a bow, aiming for accuracy.
The shorter (at 6'4''?) Croat is known for his volatile temper and charming personality with which he could attract fans all over the globe. He was one of his kind in his era with a spectacular ability of hitting aces and had a significance attached to him with the likes of Sampras', Agassi's and the Courier's.
Infact it won't be a gaffe to say he had fans just because of his serve. He was a serve and volley player and once his service was returned with spunk, the chance of him winning him a point in the rally were very bleak. His weaknesses include a very weak backhand and the high double fault count.
Just at the turn of the new millennium, another player who stood at 6'10'' hailing from the same country, became a professional in 2000, with a nick name Dr.Ivo. Rumour mills often state this guy is the most boring of players to watch. A right handed single handed back hand, a forehand with real venom and an ace count as good his former 'Ace King' and yet be termed as boring?
Karlovic services does not have the precision that Ivanisevic had. But he has a knack of serving down the middle of the 'T' and often you do not get to see the second bounce of the tennis ball in his ace. Points played by Karlovic are short too but he has a tendency to hang at the baseline and go for a wild swing from either of the hands than rushing to the net.
If someone does a number crunching, then Dr.Ivo, the tallest player ever, never went past the third round of any Grand Slam he had played so far. He hit an incredible 1377 aces in 2007 which is next only to Ivanisevic who hit an all time high of 1477 aces in 1996. To state the claim, he launched 55 aces in his first round encounter against Lleyton Hewitt at the French Open '09 and broke the record for the most number of aces hit in a match.
Ivanisevic was a clear contender at Wimbledon where he was a semi-finalist twice and a finalist thrice. He had a single digit ranking during his prime years where as Karlovic could never break into the top 20 rankings.
Karlovic lacks the personality as Ivanisevic. He hardly received any financial help from Croatian tennis federation because of the rifts he had with its bosses. He is less emotional on the court compared to his other country man.
May be he is cleanly shaven and he lacks the French beard that Ivanisevic had when he won his only Wimbledon title in 2001. All these do not necessarily qualify for a person to be put under the 'horrible to watch' category.
Both their games are primarily dependent on their services. If an X is a fan of Ivanisevic that does not automatically qualify him to become a fan of Karlovic. But what is baffling would be to see the same X terming Karlovic as boring.
With just tennis in mind, if Ivo Karlovic is called boring because of his ace game, then Goran Ivanisevic should not be light years away from not being called as boring and the odds should be shared equally between the two.
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