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View Full Version : Karlovic one of the greatest servers of all time?


christos_liaskos
02-21-2007, 02:38 AM
If you saw Ivo Karlovic reach the final of the SAP Open then you will probably have an idea of what I am talking about. He hit well over 100 aces in 12 sets of tennis. Surely that kind of record is up there with the best, I am sure he set a new tournament record anyway.

So my question is, is he one of the best of all time or is it just on his day that he can rank along side the best or his not there anyway?

Its a shame he hasnt got much more to his game, even his volleys which backed up his huge serve didnt seem to good at times. If only he could have one of the world's top technical coaches work with him. If his backhand was improved so it wasnt such a weakness and if his forehand was a bit more consistent in its attack then surely he would be a top 40 or 30 player with the occasional good run in slams and masters with such a huge serve.

If he had as much pumped into him in terms of coaches and world class trainers as his opponent in San Jose (Murray) then he could be one of his generations top player's. But clearly people either dont see much potential in him and wont invest like that LTA has done with Murray or he is not able himself to fund coaches like Gilbert and fitness trainers like Michael Johnson. (Dont let this last paragraph make any of you think this is a dig at Murray by the way, I am one of his biggest fans, well not a fan, just believe he can reach the top.)

TheNatural
02-21-2007, 02:46 AM
I havnt seen enough of him in consecutive matches to really judge, but Wayne Arthurs is one of the best ever . He has the top 2 records of consecutive service holds 109 and 111 games. 111 games was in 1 tournament at Wimbledon. I wander what Karlovic's record is.

The Grand Slam
02-21-2007, 03:09 AM
RICOH ATP MATCHFACTS

Feb 19, 2007

Service Game Leaders

Aces
1. Karlovic, Ivo 225
2. Ljubicic, Ivan 195
3. Guccione, Chris 157
4. Baghdatis, Marcos 149
5. Roddick, Andy 127
6. Fish, Mardy 110
7. Gonzalez, Fernando 106
8. Querrey, Sam 103
9. Blake, James 101
10. Murray, Andy 96

1st Serve Percentage
1. Monaco, Juan 73%
1. Llodra, Michael 73%
1. Patience, Olivier 73%
4. Horna, Luis 72%
5. Ferrero, Juan Carlos 69%
6. Karlovic, Ivo 68%
6. Roddick, Andy 68%
8. Lee, Hyung-Taik 67%
9. Roitman, Sergio 67%
10. Peya, Alexander 67%

1st Serve Points Won
1. Karlovic, Ivo 86%
2. Ljubicic, Ivan 83%
3. Querrey, Sam 81%
4. Johansson, Thomas 80%
5. Fish, Mardy 79%
5. Guccione, Chris 79%
5. Berdych, Tomas 79%
5. Hewitt, Lleyton 79%
5. Canas, Guillermo 79%
10. Blake, James 78%
10. Roddick, Andy 78%

2nd Serve Points Won
1. Federer, Roger 63%
2. Nadal, Rafael 59%
2. Horna, Luis 59%
4. Blake, James 58%
4. Johansson, Joachim 58%
4. Falla, Alejandro 58%
7. Malisse, Xavier 57%
7. Del Potro, Juan Martin 57%
7. Pless, Kristian 57%
7. Melzer, Jurgen 57%

Service Games Won
1. Karlovic, Ivo 94%
2. Johansson, Joachim 91%
3. Ljubicic, Ivan 90%
4. Guccione, Chris 89%
4. Querrey, Sam 89%
6. Blake, James 88%
6. Nadal, Rafael 88%
6. Roddick, Andy 88%
6. Horna, Luis 88%
10. Djokovic, Novak 87%
10. Gonzalez, Fernando 87%

Break Points Saved
1. Querrey, Sam 74%
2. Falla, Alejandro 73%
3. Baghdatis, Marcos 72%
4. Ljubicic, Ivan 71%
5. Ferrero, Juan Carlos 70%
6. Becker, Benjamin 69%
6. Djokovic, Novak 69%
6. Nadal, Rafael 69%
6. Guccione, Chris 69%
6. Gicquel, Marc 69%

go_nadal
02-21-2007, 03:10 AM
I havnt seen enough of him in consecutive matches to really judge, but Wayne Arthurs is one of the best ever . He has the top 2 records of consecutive service holds 109 and 111 games. 111 games was in 1 tournament at Wimbledon. I wander what Karlovic's record is.

Wow... i didnt no that... Thats pretty kool though

christos_liaskos
02-21-2007, 03:18 AM
RICOH ATP MATCHFACTS

Feb 19, 2007

Service Game Leaders

Aces
1. Karlovic, Ivo 225
2. Ljubicic, Ivan 195
3. Guccione, Chris 157
4. Baghdatis, Marcos 149
5. Roddick, Andy 127
6. Fish, Mardy 110
7. Gonzalez, Fernando 106
8. Querrey, Sam 103
9. Blake, James 101
10. Murray, Andy 96

1st Serve Percentage
1. Monaco, Juan 73%
1. Llodra, Michael 73%
1. Patience, Olivier 73%
4. Horna, Luis 72%
5. Ferrero, Juan Carlos 69%
6. Karlovic, Ivo 68%
6. Roddick, Andy 68%
8. Lee, Hyung-Taik 67%
9. Roitman, Sergio 67%
10. Peya, Alexander 67%

1st Serve Points Won
1. Karlovic, Ivo 86%
2. Ljubicic, Ivan 83%
3. Querrey, Sam 81%
4. Johansson, Thomas 80%
5. Fish, Mardy 79%
5. Guccione, Chris 79%
5. Berdych, Tomas 79%
5. Hewitt, Lleyton 79%
5. Canas, Guillermo 79%
10. Blake, James 78%
10. Roddick, Andy 78%

2nd Serve Points Won
1. Federer, Roger 63%
2. Nadal, Rafael 59%
2. Horna, Luis 59%
4. Blake, James 58%
4. Johansson, Joachim 58%
4. Falla, Alejandro 58%
7. Malisse, Xavier 57%
7. Del Potro, Juan Martin 57%
7. Pless, Kristian 57%
7. Melzer, Jurgen 57%

Service Games Won
1. Karlovic, Ivo 94%
2. Johansson, Joachim 91%
3. Ljubicic, Ivan 90%
4. Guccione, Chris 89%
4. Querrey, Sam 89%
6. Blake, James 88%
6. Nadal, Rafael 88%
6. Roddick, Andy 88%
6. Horna, Luis 88%
10. Djokovic, Novak 87%
10. Gonzalez, Fernando 87%

Break Points Saved
1. Querrey, Sam 74%
2. Falla, Alejandro 73%
3. Baghdatis, Marcos 72%
4. Ljubicic, Ivan 71%
5. Ferrero, Juan Carlos 70%
6. Becker, Benjamin 69%
6. Djokovic, Novak 69%
6. Nadal, Rafael 69%
6. Guccione, Chris 69%
6. Gicquel, Marc 69%

Thanks Grand Slam for posting the actual facts, I couldnt be bothered to do it myself lol. But the facts do seem to back up my choice that 'on his day he is up there with the greatest'.

ctbmar
02-21-2007, 03:46 AM
The category that seems to be the most important is 2nd Serve Points Won.
One of the reasons why Federer is on top is because of he is top in this category. I don't remember Karlovic was in many top 10s of RICOH ATP MATCHFACTS for the whole calender year 2006, but Federer was No.1 in 3 or 4 of the categories and made it to all top 10 for all categories. But right now, these are just early stages of 2007, Federer is only top 10 in 1 category but he has won the Australian Open, while Karlovic is in the top 10 in quite a few categories and reached an ATP final.

2nd Serve Points Won
1. Federer, Roger 63%
2. Nadal, Rafael 59%

TheNatural
02-21-2007, 04:09 AM
Arthurs retired that explains why hes not on any of the lists. The big Gucc is doing well. I bet a top player would hate to face any of these guys at Wimbledon. Gucc could take out some guy like Nadal first round.

noeledmonds
02-21-2007, 04:29 AM
The category that seems to be the most important is 2nd Serve Points Won.
One of the reasons why Federer is on top is because of he is top in this category. I don't remember Karlovic was in many top 10s of RICOH ATP MATCHFACTS for the whole calender year 2006, but Federer was No.1 in 3 or 4 of the categories and made it to all top 10 for all categories. But right now, these are just early stages of 2007, Federer is only top 10 in 1 category but he has won the Australian Open, while Karlovic is in the top 10 in quite a few categories and reached an ATP final.

2nd Serve Points Won
1. Federer, Roger 63%
2. Nadal, Rafael 59%

Karlovicic was top for service games won and 1st serve points won throghout 2006. The reason he was not on the ATP statistics is he did not play enough matches to be included in them later in the year. Karlovicic also averaged most aces per match last year. Noone is arguing that Karlovicic is a better player than Federer or Nadal, but he is a very fine server. He serving statistics are even more impressive given his relativly poor ground strokes and volleys. His serves are very often either winners or the the simpleist put aways.

Volly master
02-21-2007, 04:38 AM
GOAT...serving wise :)

illkhiboy
02-21-2007, 05:14 AM
I really like watching this guy play. As someone said, he needs some guidance to take him to the top. I think his main problem is his mental game. Though he is confident in his serve when down break points, he is not great at strategizing nor is he a player who pulls out matches. Just look at the number of tie-breaks he loses. With such a big serve, all he has to do is get a couple of mini-breaks in the breaker and the set is his.

As far as I have seen, his volleys are alright. Of course, it's not easy for him to dig down and pick up low balls, but he has tremendous reach and is fairly hard to pass.

His forehand as someone pointed out, needs to be more consistent. He can play some big shots off it, like against Agassi at the US Open, or against Roddick at Madrid. He came within a point of taking a set from Agassi, by trading groundstrokes and then putting away easy volleys.

He beat Roddick at Madrid last year and Hewitt at Wimbledon so you know he is a player capable of much damage. Infact, his clay season last year was going pretty good but then he got injured which ruined his whole year.

Andres
02-21-2007, 05:40 AM
Probably, one of the most intimidating serves of all time.
Yes, I'll put Karlovic (serve by serve), in the heights of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Becker and Krajicek.

BiGGieStuFF
02-21-2007, 06:32 AM
Just goes to show that you need more than just a serve to get to the top. The stats are only for 2007 so the pool sample is a bit small, but I remember him being at the top for 2006 as well.

His serving stats are better than Roddick's but I know some of you would disagree but Andy does have an above average ground game to back up his serve as well.

Not a one trick pony he is hmmm?

pound cat
02-21-2007, 06:36 AM
The category that seems to be the most important is 2nd Serve Points Won.

One of the reasons why Federer is on top is because of he is top in this category. I don't remember Karlovic was in many top 10s of RICOH ATP MATCHFACTS for the whole calender year 2006, but Federer was No.1 in 3 or 4 of the categories and made it to all top 10 for all categories. But right now, these are just early stages of 2007, Federer is only top 10 in 1 category but he has won the Australian Open, while Karlovic is in the top 10 in quite a few categories and reached an ATP final.

2nd Serve Points Won
1. Federer, Roger 63%
2. Nadal, Rafael 59%

A maxim in tennis is "You're only as good as your second serve" What you just posted supports this.

Good post.

pound cat
02-21-2007, 06:41 AM
If

If he had as much pumped into him in terms of coaches and world class trainers as his opponent in San Jose (Murray) then he could be one of his generations top player's. But clearly people either dont see much potential in him and wont invest like that LTA has done with Murray or he is not able himself to fund coaches like Gilbert and fitness trainers like Michael Johnson. (Dont let this last paragraph make any of you think this is a dig at Murray by the way, I am one of his biggest fans, well not a fan, just believe he can reach the top.)


Karlovic got no help or support from the Croation tennis Federeration and in fact didn't have a coach (or even know how to drive a car) until he started to make substantial money. And I don't know the name of his coach so it's not anyone well known. Imagine his game if he had been taught a killer second serve . Hopefully he is working hard on that.

illkhiboy
02-21-2007, 07:35 AM
I don't know how anyone could think Karlovic is NOT one of the best servers ever. 94% games held is ridiculous. Sampras and Kracijek with far superior skills after the serve averaged around 90. Karlovic, mainly because of the insane trajectory he can get, is THE best server in tennis today. By the way, he serves in the 130's (and occasionally 140's) regularly, something you won't see from Roddick very often.

Andres
02-21-2007, 08:07 AM
Karlovic got no help or support from the Croation tennis Federeration and in fact didn't have a coach (or even know how to drive a car) until he started to make substantial money. And I don't know the name of his coach so it's not anyone well known. Imagine his game if he had been taught a killer second serve . Hopefully he is working hard on that.
His kickserve is insane, actually. 100-110 mph, and sometimes, kicking up to 6'3'' or 6'4''.

His lacking a ground game, that's the pity. He doesn't have an attackable 2nd serve, and it's quite offensive, but he doesn't seem to win many points off the 2nd serve :?

Ivanišević
02-21-2007, 08:08 AM
Karlovic got no help or support from the Croation tennis Federeration and in fact didn't have a coach (or even know how to drive a car) until he started to make substantial money. And I don't know the name of his coach so it's not anyone well known. Imagine his game if he had been taught a killer second serve . Hopefully he is working hard on that.

He still doesn't have a coach

fastdunn
02-21-2007, 08:24 AM
In early 90's, on a TV interview with an American player(Tim Mayotte
I think), he was asked who would be the best servers in the world.
He paused a bit and answered "Uh.... couple of my friends in NBA.."

GRANITECHIEF
02-21-2007, 09:04 AM
I thought Roddick's old coach, Tariq Benehabilles, was Karlo's coach.

Interesting to see that SamQ is mentioned on several of the lists.

christos_liaskos
02-21-2007, 02:46 PM
I thought Roddick's old coach, Tariq Benehabilles, was Karlo's coach.

Interesting to see that SamQ is mentioned on several of the lists.

Yes, I think Benehabilles might be his coach, I think I heard them say that during the SAP Open

Nick Irons
02-21-2007, 02:52 PM
Aces contibute how much to the 86 % First Serve won, I wonder ?

Another telltale stat might be him being Ranked 21st on 2nd Serve Points Won.

All that bite and no game.

Surely, Greatest Servers Ever should count for results right ?

StunLock
02-21-2007, 04:10 PM
not sure why but Karlovic's serve reminds me goran ivanisevic

noeledmonds
02-21-2007, 04:28 PM
Aces contibute how much to the 86 % First Serve won, I wonder ?

Another telltale stat might be him being Ranked 21st on 2nd Serve Points Won.

All that bite and no game.

Surely, Greatest Servers Ever should count for results right ?

The fact that Karlovicic can win so many service games without other good shots is testonimy to how good his service is.

Banger
02-21-2007, 04:58 PM
I have rarely seen Ivo play on tv but what I saw from him against B. Becker and Murray was very impressive. He was constantly hitting in the range of 136-142 on his serve and the ones that went in were pretty much all aces or unreturnables. What really impressed me was his serve and volley and his net game, which is very good for such a big guy. If he could get more consistent on his first serve and get a better ground game he would be awesome.

NamRanger
02-21-2007, 05:08 PM
I remember when he played Agassi in the U.S. Open in 2005 I believe. What a crazy match, one of the best serves against one of the best returners. I believe it was decided in 3 tiebreaks IIRC. Agassi said he's never played against a serve like that in his interview, saying that he would just have to dive for it and hope he gets to it.


Karlovic did upset Hewitt at Wimbledon 2003, that was a big shocker. Hewitt just couldn't get to any of Karlovic's serves, and Hewitt's serve was pretty average that day.

avmoghe
02-21-2007, 05:14 PM
Hm.. anybody have some statistics as to how he compares against the best server of all time - Goran Ivanesevic?

Andres
02-21-2007, 05:20 PM
Hm.. anybody have some statistics as to how he compares against the best server of all time - Goran Ivanesevic?
He's averaging 18-20 aces a match, which is huge. I'm not sure if Goran averaged that much. Maybe 14-16.

Though, Goran ace records are there to STAY. 1477 aces in a season? 213 aces in a tournament? (average of 30 a match). That's a tougher :)

avmoghe
02-21-2007, 05:25 PM
He's averaging 18-20 aces a match, which is huge. I'm not sure if Goran averaged that much. Maybe 14-16.

Though, Goran ace records are there to STAY. 1477 aces in a season? 213 aces in a tournament? (average of 30 a match). That's a tougher :)

Yup, I remember that Wimbledon too :)

vudal
02-21-2007, 06:04 PM
Arthurs retired that explains why hes not on any of the lists. The big Gucc is doing well. I bet a top player would hate to face any of these guys at Wimbledon. Gucc could take out some guy like Nadal first round.

Gucc would not beat Nadal. His backhand is a liablity. He will loose in straights.

Budgerigar
02-21-2007, 10:42 PM
he doesn't go for enough on his 2nd

edberg505
02-21-2007, 11:16 PM
Gucc would not beat Nadal. His backhand is a liablity. He will loose in straights.

Really? Well, you should ask Mr. Nadal what happened when he played Chris at the beginning of the year. I just find it hilarious that whenever Nadal plays a big server he claims they have the best serve ever. And since this match happened on rebound ace I wouldn't like Nadal's chances against Chris on grass.

Andres
02-22-2007, 04:59 AM
Chris' serve isn't TOO FAR AWAY from being the best serve ever :p

Insane pace, insane spin, insane angle (he's 6'7' and lefty), and lots lots lots of aces. 45 aces in his lost to Rochus, and 50 aces in 3 sets on grass... A serve to be feared :)

MTF07
02-23-2007, 12:43 AM
I do think his serve is one of the most dominating the game of tennis has ever seen, but due to the fact that he doesn't exactly possess devastating ground strokes, he'll never be anything more than a top 50 player. He's still a dangerous opponent for anyone to play against because he's so near impossible to break.