Ivo Karlovic - Shanghai Masters 2017

Former ATP ace record-holder ‘officially’ announces retirement

Ivo Karlovic has officially confirmed his retirement, with the 44-year-old releasing a heartfelt statement on social media after not competing on the ATP Tour over two years. 

Karlovic, who stands at 6 foot 11 inches, last played on the tour at Indian Wells in a second round qualifying loss to Emilio Gomez.

The Croatian has not appeared on the tour since, with some already speculating that his career was over, and now Karlovic has confirmed just that, Some of you have noticed that it’s been a while since I played a tournament and still ask me on a daily basis if and when I’ll be returning to the tour. I’m sorry to disappoint, but with this letter, I want to make it official and finally announce my retirement.

“I’ve had a very gratifying, unorthodox and long career coming from extremely humble beginnings, especially for a tennis player. Croatia was a very different country in the 80s and 90s when I was growing up, and I’m very proud of my accomplishments and what I’ve been able to overcome.”

He continued by thanking his support team, “I’d like to thank all the coaches and people who were involved in and contributed to my development as a tennis player. Without you this fortunate journey would not have been possible. My family provided tremendous support and I love them immensely. I’m looking forward to continuing to spend time with them doing things that are important to us and that fulfill us.

“To all of you who were fans and supporters throughout the years, thank you for being a part of my journey. I love you all and I hope to see you again. I will stay close to tennis and try to share my knowledge and all of the incredible experiences on tour with new generations of tennis players. The journey continues and the focus gets redirected. I am grateful. Cheers, Dr. Ivo.”

Karlovic was known for his powerful serve, hitting a total of 13,728 aces across his 21-year career, which was an ATP record until John Isner broke it in 2022.

The former No.14 also once held the record for the fastest official serve in ATP history at 156 mph (miles per hour), but the aforementioned Isner also surpassed that in 2016.

In his career Karlovic won eight titles across three different surfaces, and has a best Grand Slam result of reaching the Wimbledon quarter-final in 2009.

Inside the baseline…

This news probably came as a surprise to many, not because they thought Ivo Karlovic would continue playing, but more because he has not been a relevant factor on the ATP Tour in recent years due to his absence. Many people will say that Karlovic just relied on his serve, and while it was a huge weapon of his, you don’t have a winning record over Novak Djokovic (2-1) and a career-high of No.14 if you are not am extremely talented pro. Hopefully he can fully enjoy his time away from the matchcourt now the news is officially confirmed.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.