Is Dr. Ivo the exception to the 'rules'? *Possible Spoiler*

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by DariusRaiden, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. DariusRaiden

    DariusRaiden Rookie

    Oct 29, 2004
    After witnessing how well Karlovic played on clay, and the fact that he is enormous and has a heinous ground game by clay court standards, I can't help but think that he is the exception to the traditional school of thought about different surfaces in tennis.

    First off, he just won a title ON CLAY. Obviously, clay is seen as a surface where speed and consistent, safe groundstrokes are viewed as a key, but Ivo has neither of those. Not to mention that he has arguably the worst return in the top 100.

    I seem to think that Ivo's serve is so good that he flat out changes the rules. Obviously, for a serve and volley player, you want to get into the net as quickly as possible. Normally on clay you do get closer to the net for the first volley, but the fact that the serve is slowed down so much makes this harmful for most serve and volley players. Ivo's serve is so big though, it seems like he does get closer to the net without having his serve significantly hampered by the clay court.

    Additionaly, Ivo still holds serve easily on clay. Normally players hold much less but since his serve is so good he doesn't have to worry about being broken regardless of the surface. As a result, because the clay is so slow, he really does get a better look at the return. Compare this to grass or hardcourt where yes, Ivo holds easily, but can't break often because he doesn't get a look at a return.

    Anyway, I'm just surprised I guess. What do you think?
  2. Starwind

    Starwind Rookie

    Aug 12, 2006
    I think he's a straight balla. The tournament wasn't very strong, though.
  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
    All this may be true, but the most important factor in this win, is that Houston had such a poor field. It only had 2 spaniards & 4 south americans in the field, its not like Ivo was beating up on Gonzalez or Ferrer.

    Marc Rosset's best surface was clay & that guy was as slow as can be.

    There are so many more events on clay than other surfaces, its not surprising when a non clay courter does well once in a while. Todd Martin won Barcelona a few years ago, Rafter & Henman made the FO semis, Philippoussis has a clay title as well.

    Still Karlovic has played surprisingly decent on clay, he lost in 5 sets to Hrbaty at last year's French & made the QF at Barcelona(beating Davydenko!)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  4. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

    Nov 21, 2006
    ivanisevic all over again.
  5. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

    Feb 23, 2004
    I think it was green clay, definitely not as slow as European clay. Blake made it to the semis beating Monaco on the way, and I think I remember Sampras winning a green clay court event back in 97 or 98 against Stoltenberg in the final. Heck even Mardy Fish won a match, against Vassallo Arguello no less.
  6. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Dec 10, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I am so happy to see Dr. Ivo doing so well. I had the chance to meet him at the RCA tournament and he is the nicest player you will ever meet. He is little shy cause his speech but he is very easy going and down to earth.
  7. latinking

    latinking Professional

    Mar 16, 2007
    He is pretty old,for tennis anyway. He has seemed to come out of nowhere and is such a interesting player. Why was he not pushed further at a younger age? Or was he? With such a natural talent ( his size/ serve) seems like he could have been a big star. I like him alot, and seems like many people do.
  8. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

    May 3, 2005
    I heard the har tru surface was playing pretty fast.
  9. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

    Feb 18, 2004
    He hasn't really come out of nowhere, people noticed him when he beat Hewitt at Wimbledon a couple years back. He's been around since then, racking up occasional wins.
  10. Amone

    Amone Hall of Fame

    Dec 29, 2005
    Detroit Area, MI
    Is he actually a PhD or something? Why is he called "Dr Ivo," if not, and if so, what is said PhD in?
  11. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    I doubt any tennis player active is a PhD. From undergraduate to getting you doctorate is 8 years. Maybe seven if you loaded up on summer courses from the start. Tennis players do not have 7 years to spare.
  12. FitzRoy

    FitzRoy Professional

    Aug 26, 2006
    He has a PhD in serving BOMBs.
  13. chiru

    chiru Professional

    Jun 9, 2004
    Another thing to keep in mind. On clay the reason why s & v doesn't work is that a player will hit a big serve, get a weak reply and "put away" the volley. except on clay, theres basically no such thing. 7/10 the opposite player has another look at a passing shot, and thats where the s & v man loses. except when your almost 7' tall, its real hard to get passed. even so, karlovic only won cuz he had such a weak field. gives you an idea how a guy with such a monster serve and gigantic court coverage still is pretty ineffective as a clay courter.
  14. patrick922

    patrick922 Semi-Pro

    Aug 9, 2005
    one thing the commentators mentioned was that the tournament used womens us open balls which were lighter and had less felt, hence it would travel faster through the clay. the tournament does this so the americans like roddick, blake, and fish have a better chance of winning. and so karlovic took advantage of the fast balls to win agains zabaleta. also the hartru isnt as fast as the european clay. hartru plays similar to a slow hard court with sliding.
  15. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

    Feb 18, 2004
    The field wasn't any weaker than at some tournaments. Haas was in it - top 10 player (though not anymore, not after Karlovic beat him). Blake was there, also top 10.

    Certainly not a particularly amazing field, not really any great claycourters around, but it's doing a big disservice to Karlovic to dismiss this as "just a weak field". No weaker than any other event of the same caliber, I think.
  16. Shabazza

    Shabazza Legend

    Jan 12, 2006
    I'm pretty sure that's a typo, right?

    Regarding Karlovic and PhD - I'm pretty sure I read somewhere he has one.
  17. tintin

    tintin Professional

    Feb 20, 2007
    none of your damn business
    first of all green clay ain't really clay
    this one was obviously way faster than any other surfaces
    hey winning on green "clay" doesn't mean anything because they are so different,Karlovic wouldn't be able to win on the real clay with such a score :lol:
    Roddick won Houston I don't know how many times and his best result on the real thing was in Rome in 2002 where he made the semis
  18. ivan987

    ivan987 Rookie

    Sep 9, 2006
    I think that Karlovic plays fine on clay because it it slower and that makes him able to hit some groundstrokes and increases his chance of taking opponents serve.
  19. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

    Apr 13, 2005
    location, location, location
    You guys wondering about a PhD: he's called Dr. Ivo because it sounds like Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movie. Just a jokey nickname.
  20. laurie

    laurie Guest

    I didn't see any of the tournament.

    But Houston used to import red clay from Europe for the tournament. If they have changed to green clay for this year does anyone know why they did it?

    Congratulations to Ivo by the way - his first title, great stuff.
  21. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

    Feb 22, 2004

    And he has the most evil serve ever in pro tennis.

    Perfect nickname.
  22. patrick922

    patrick922 Semi-Pro

    Aug 9, 2005
    sorry yes it is a typo..... it should say hartru isnt as slow as european clay
  23. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    That´s what I´m trying to tell those guys who thought Blake was doing good on ¨clay¨ and on a depleted field to boot. I saw close up pics of Zabaleta striking the ball off the racquet and it was a Red US Open ball. The red ones are for women and the black US Open print are for men. So Blake played on a weak field with fast ¨clay¨ courts and with women´s US Open balls and this is considered a big accomplsihment for him? Let´s see him do that in Monte Carlo or Rome and I´ll give him his due. Otherwise, no big deal. Even Mardy Fish won that tournament.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2007
  24. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

    Aug 29, 2006
    I think Ivo needs to worrry more about Wimbledon. If I was him I'd even skip the clay season regardless of the good recent results; he has a good shot at Wimbledon!

    There is no way he has a PhD! It takes 5-10 years of studying to get one. I doubt there are any tour players with Master's degrees either.
  25. serveitup911

    serveitup911 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2006
    There is no such thing as a men's or women's Wilson US Open.

    There is a Wilson US Open regular duty and a US Open extra duty.

    The regular duty has less felt and is meant for clay or Har-Tru.
    The extra duty has more felt and is meant to stand up to the rigors of hard courts.
  26. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    Anyway, back to the topic. I think Ivo's serve is great on any surface but on clay you have a better chance of getting a look at a decent return, especially if you stand far back. I don't think he's got anything else to his game that can win him more important clay court events. He won this tournament because of a very weak field and the speed of the courts were faster than everyone thought. He had a very impressive win against Haas and took the fight out of Montanes and Zabaleta. He can really demoralize you because so much of the match depends on how he serves. He makes you play the game on his terms. Even when he's returning you can't get a rhythm because he either goes for broke, chip and charge immediately or slice the ball to death. No matter which one he uses you're never comfortable. Unless of course you're a big server as well. Fed and Nadal have beaten him because they have so much game and they're great at executing passing shots.
  27. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

    Jan 11, 2007
    lol yea beat me to it... the guy is not really a doctor.
  28. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

    Jan 16, 2006
    Well he loses to a lot more players than Nadal and Federer. Which is why he was ranked around in the world a couple weeks back. The Houston environment sure helped his game more than European clay tournaments will. However, Karlovic has beaten Haas, Davydenko and Robredo on European clay. As you said, he makes you play the game on his terms. And his serve jumps off the clay, especially his kicker. Never an easy opponent.
  29. ivo#1fan

    ivo#1fan Rookie

    Jun 14, 2006
    North Carolina
    The reason Ivo was ranked so low was he basically missed the entire second half of last year due to a knee injury. Prior to the injury he was ranked in the top 50. Ivo has 0 points to defend once the grass court season and US Open get here so not only has he jumped up 46 places in the ranking this week, he's going way up the rest of the year. He'll surely be back in the top 50 and odds are if he gets a few descent draws in the grand slams he'll be a top 40 player.

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