Karlovic falls to Federer
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:38
The five-time Wimbledon champion went into the match knowing he had won eight of his nine previous meetings with the 6ft 10in Croatian, and he was quickly into his stride.
Federer broke Karlovic for the first time in the tournament in the fourth game, another break gave him the second set and he dominated the third-set tie-break to triumph 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7/3).
The 22nd seed fired an ace on his first service point but he found himself 15-40 down in the fourth game thanks to a searing Federer return. And another superb forehand from the second seed saw him take a 3-1 lead.
Karlovic held serve comfortably from then on but he failed to make any inroads on the Federer delivery and the second seed easily wrapped up the set.
Unsurprisingly, serve continued to dominate in the second set, with Federer’s delivery proving almost as effective as the 130mph-plus bullets from the Karlovic racquet. But the 22nd seed was in a spot of bother in the seventh game as Federer again moved to 0-30, but this time some impressive serving from the Croatian got him out of trouble.
It was a different story in game 11, though, as the Swiss found his rhythm on the return and reached 15-40 with some stunning groundstrokes. Another pass proved too hot for the 30-year-old and Federer had broken for the second time. He then easily served out for a two-set lead.
The pressure was immediately on the Croatian when he served a double fault to drop the first point of the third set, although two aces helped him recover from 15-30 to hold. Karlovic even had a glimpse of a break in the sixth game when Federer, too, began with a double fault.
A stunning forehand on the run from the Croatian made it deuce for the first time in the match but two big serves from the world number two snuffed out the chance.
Karlovic held firm to force a tie-break but that would not have frightened Federer and he duly gained the first mini-break to make it 3-2. Another brought up four match points and, although Karlovic saved the first with an ace – his 23rd of the match – a forehand winner wrapped up proceedings.