Wimbledon '09: Real Giant Karlovic Meets Swiss Giant Federer In Quarter Finals
One cracker after another for Roger Federer. He had defeated Robin Soderling in a tight straight set match in the pre-quarters; and is now going to meet the 6'10'' giant from Croatia, by name Ivo Karlovic in his quarter final on Wednesday.
The Quarter Finals at Wimbledon has reached fever pitch and every match promises to be a hum-dinger.
Other mouth-watering clashes at the Quarters include: Roddick vs Hewitt; Djokovic vs Haas and Murray vs Ferrero.
Surprisingly, six out of the top eight players in the Quarters are 26 and above years of age, and that throws some light on how much this Wimbledon means for each of the older guys.
Federer played the towering Karlovic nine times on all different surfaces and it was only once he lost to him at the Cincinnati Masters. He is very familiar with the type of game Karlovic deploys and winning the first set is always going to be the key for Federer, which he failed to do against Karlovic's only win.
Karlovic's serve was unbroken in his run to the Quarters and his previous best at any Grand Slam was only at Wimbledon in 2004 where he reached round four. His last four appearances at SW19 saw him exiting in just the first round.
The Zagreb resident, nicknamed Dr.Ivo won a close four-set battle against the other Spanish stud Fernando Verdasco, where the last tie-break he won was at 11-9.
Swinging hard from both the wings is Karlovic's style of play in addition to those little booming serves he loves to serve down the "T." The Doctor was administered that his style of play is "boring" by many tennis pundits and yet they equally acknowledge that it could get as dangerous as it can get on his day.
Karlovic just seems to be having his days at the "grass is for cows" Championships, which suits his game to the tee and should feel confident having made it to the second week.
When asked how Federer would prepare against Karlovic, he said "Same as I do against other players. I like those sort of challenges, you know. I mean, it's maybe not the most fun match to go through. But I like to beat this guy, you know, because he makes it hard on us, you know, to beat him."
The Swiss champion is always wary of big serving players like Karlovic, Roddick, Soderling despite enjoying a lop-sided head to head advantage over them.
If most of the sets go to the tie-breakers, expect Federer hold to his forte even though Karlovic was not broken in this tournament. As nerves begin to creep in, the tie-breaker gets interesting from five all.
As things nudge to the business end of the tournament, the sun begins to shine brightly on one particular player and the odds of winning the tournament of that particular player gets heavier and heavier.
To take a lighter moment from the tense filled line ups, Karlovic was asked on what he thinks of Federer's outfit his response was," I don't know. No comment. (Laughter)."
Karlovic had performed a jig after his win over Verdasco and he may well repeat the jig if he takes out Federer.
Even if he does not take out Federer, if he gets his serve working the match promises to be a Thriller. If Federer's backhand is found a tad off the radar it can get Bad. If Karlovic edges out Federer in the first set it can be Dangerous.
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