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Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:34
While therell always be exceptions to the rule (the Rochus boys!), the majority of successful male tennis pros these days have one thing in common theyre tall. Very tall.
ATP trophies at his last three events.
The tall guys on tour will never be the quickest around the court and there are plenty of ways shorter players can cause problems for them, but extra height normally means a big serve, powerful groundstrokes and bigger wingspan all good news if youre a tennis player.
If you happen to be very tall AND Croatian then it appears a bright tennis future is guaranteed. There are four Croats in our top ten list none of them under 6ft 4!
If you think tall tennis players are restricted to only the mens game then youd be mistaken the tallest woman currently playing the WTA Tour is Akgul Amanmuradova who towers over a fair number of her male tennis friends at 6ft 3.
The ATP Tours skyscrapers
1. Ivo Karlovic
The 6ft 10 Croat is the tallest ever, and current tallest, professional male tennis player on the ATP Tour. Karlovic is the world No.16 and is known for his phenomenal serve, which comes off the court at angles players have never experienced before. Dr Karlovic, as hes known, proved he has more than just a whopping great serve, however, when he beat world No.1 Roger Federer at the 2008 Cincinnati Masters with some solid all-court play.
2. Chris Guccione
This Aussie measures up at a lofty 6ft 7 and, as a lefty, has one of the biggest and trickiest serves around. Currently ranked No.86 in the world.
3. Marin Cilic
Another Croat (what exactly are they on?), world No.33 Cilic is one of four pros inside the 100 club who stand at 6ft 6.
4. Juan Martin Del Potro
A 19-year-old Argentine who is on fire this summer having won titles in Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel and LA. Uses his great height of 6ft 6 to generate big serves and a massive forehand. He now stands at a career-high listing of No.19.
5. Sam Querrey
Another 6ft 6 player with a mighty serve, this American occupies No.49 in the current rankings.
6. Tomas Berdych
The Czech has long been regarded as one of the Next REALLY Big Things and, although some say he is yet to truly fulfil his potential, as it stands the 6ft 5 right-hander is the 20th best player on the planet.
7. Mario Ancic
Not another Croat? Oh, yes. World No.24 Ancic has showcased his talents all over the world, but enjoyed his best ever grand slam run at Wimbledon where in 2004 he used his 6ft 5 frame to execute some fantastic serve-volley tennis all the way to the last four.
8-12. Gael Monfils (WR 43), Marat Safin (WR 44), Ivan Ljubicic (WR 50) and Viktor Troiki (WR 93)
This quartet all register on the height chart at 6ft 4 and, yes, Ljubicic takes the incredible Croat count up to four.
(Rankings as of 11.8.08)