What's it like to be 6'10"?


Hall of Fame
Just ask Ivo Karlovic. Here's the interview from Deuce Magazine. Enjoy.

Standing 6' 10'', big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic is the tallest player to ever compete on the ATP tour. 'Doctor Ivo' is enjoying a career-best season, winning two titles (Houston, Nottingham) from three finals, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 30 and amassing a 28-16 record through the US Open - his only positive win-loss ratio since he went 9-7 in 2003.

Karlovic is almost unbreakable. In 2007 he is winning an ATP-high 94 percent of service games - that's better than Roddick (92%), Federer (88%) and Nadal (88%). On the flipside, he's only winning 10 percent of return games (up from 8 percent in 2006). Not something to sing about at your high school reunion, but it's a combination good enough to get him to a tie-break most of the time. Indeed, 31 of his 44 matches this year have featured at least one tie-break.

On and off the court, there are advantages and disadvantages of being so tall. Here's Ivo's take on the good and the bad of being 6' 10:


It's an advantage on serve, but I don't want to say I'm only a good server because I am tall. When I was younger that was the shot that I practiced a lot. It was the only possibility in Croatia where I lived because my parents didn't have a lot of money. In the evening when the courts were empty I would serve for hours.

Center of Attention
When I go out with friends we never get separated, even in a crowd. I am like their navigation system.

Attention Grabbing
When I was not married women were curious...


Air travel is obviously one of the worst things about being so tall. The only way to fly comfortably is in business class or in an exit row in economy. When I flew to Australia five years ago I was in economy. No-one in the exit rows would switch with me. It was a horrible flight. After that I never flew economy to Australia. In the U.S. it's difficult flying on those small regional aircraft, but at least they are only short flights. I put one leg in the aisle and one leg in half of the other person's space. I say I'm really sorry, but what can I do?

It's very difficult to find clothes I would like to wear. Shoes are okay. I'm a size 16.

Standing Out
Whenever I go out people notice me and sometimes I would like to be inconspicuous and just have a good time with my friends. Especially in the US people are open and every day they ask me how tall I am. Most people assume I am a basketballer. And if I ever get in trouble with the law, I cannot hide from the police.


I used to have a roommate who was 6'9". Every single day when I first saw him I would think, "My god, I forgot how tall you are." He got very tired of people assuming he was a basketball player.
As MacEnroe laughed saying, while commentating a match, when a call went against Karlovic, "It's not like he's going to question the call or anything. The guy's got a serious stutter..."

Downsides of being this tall...(I am 6'6)..what he said is SO very true. Flights are the very devil especially when I'm traveling with my partner who is 6'9, sharing the same aisle, let along with other people is very uncomfortable. But honestly I feel more conscious of it in when I am in the US, than where I live in Europe, because there seems to be taller average people there so it's not such an issue.
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I used to have a roommate who was 6'9". Every single day when I first saw him I would think, "My god, I forgot how tall you are." He got very tired of people assuming he was a basketball player.
I am 6' 7" and always get asked the same type of questions, but it has never bothered me. I did play basketball in high school, but can only imagine how many more times someone 6"10" gets asked that.
I actually know a former pro basketball player who is 7' 0", and I am forced to look up to him as I imagine others do with me.

As to the speech impediment, he did have a problem, but got help. I think Goran may have helped him seek a therapist, but cannot remember for certain.

Anyway, people complain about returning my 6' 7" lefty serve, so just imagine trying to return one from Ivo's height. :shock: