The 2011 Rogers Cup has seen a couple tremendous upsets through the first two rounds as both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are out of the tournament following shocking upsets. Both of those top players were on the same half of the draw and that has left a place in the final open to a player who doesn't always have the chance to do that well in a Masters level event, a fact that can't be lost on either Tomas Berdych or Ivo Karlovic.
Berdych and Dr. Ivo are set to face one another on Thursday in a third-round match from Montreal, a match that should feature its share of aces.
Berdych is 6'5" while Karlovic is 6'10" and both players, especially Karlovic, have plenty of power when it comes to their service game.
Berdych is the the seventh-seeded player at the ATP Montreal event while Karlovic is ranked well outside of the top 100. However, on his day the Croat is capable of playing with nearly everyone as his booming serve is, at times, unbreakable.
Berdych, though the more talented player, has had trouble with Karlovic in the past. Entering Thursday's match Berdych has a losing record against Karlovic at 1-2 although they have not met on tour since 2008.
Since that time Berdych has improved into the top-10 player that he now is while Karlovic, perhaps showing his age, is only experiencing intermittent success in tour level events.
Berdych, who is more agile than Karlovic, is into the third round following a bye through the first round and a three set test against the dangerous Alexandr Dolgopolov. Karlovic has survived two three set battles against Juan Monaco and Philipp Petzschner, the latter going to a third set tiebreaker that Dr. Ivo won by the minimum two points.
The key to the match for Karlovic is to pound down the aces however you have to think that Berdych will be the fresher player. Karlovic, besides playing two matches that each went three sets, has already played in five tiebreakers at the Rogers Cup this year.
His playing style keeps him on the court for hours, something that fatigues him, as he doesn't yield many breaks but nor does he break his opponents too often.
Look for Berdych to pull this one off, a match that starts at noon in Montreal, and to move on to the quarterfinals where he will face either Janko Tipsarevic or Ivan Dodig.