Tuesday at the Hall of Fame Open saw 2016 Newport champion Ivo Karlovic survive a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 battle with Bernabe Zapata Miralles to move into the second round.
The 42-year-old is officially the oldest player to win an ATP Tour match since Jimmy Connors reached the Halle quarterfinals in 1995 at 42.
“It's a really nice feeling that I'm still [playing] at my age here, winning matches,” Karlovic said.
The 6’11” big-serving Croatian, who hit 24 aces against Miralles, holds several ATP ace records, including the most in one match (45) and the highest career total (13,653).
He will next face top seed Alexander Bublik, a 24-year-old famous for his serve too, but for very different reasons: He loves the underarm serve. They’ll battle on Wednesday in their first career meeting.
World No. 78 Tennys Sandgren got a solid win under his belt over Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-6 (3). Both Sandgren and Sousa are heading to Tokyo next week for the Olympics, with Sandgren eager to get some wins under his belt before his dream of representing the United States comes true.
“It's good to play matches, and it's good to play points, be in that competition mindset,” Sandgren said. “I've always wanted to play the Olympics. It's not like I'm training for the Olympics as a kid, like if you're a gymnast, but it's always something that I want to do if I'm able to ranking and health-wise… Tennis is a very selfish sport, so to be able to represent my country rather than myself is an honor.”
The 29-year-old will be seeking his first quarterfinal of 2021 when he faces Jason Jung on Wednesday. Jung outlasted qualifier Brayden Schnur 7-5, 6-7(1), 7-6(4) in three hours and 20 minutes.
Former World No. 8 Jack Sock scored his first ATP-level win since last year’s Roland Garros with a physical 3-6 6-4, 6-3 win over qualifier Alex Bolt. The 28-year-old American won an ATP Challenger in Little Rock, Ark. last month, picking up some momentum heading into a second-round clash with No. 3 seed Yoshihito Nishioka.
“It feels great, of course. It’s such a different place I’m in now,” Sock said. “Not that I took tour events for granted—maybe when you’re younger, you’re playing them every week… I think being removed from that, being injured for that long, being out for a couple of years, and now getting back into it. I’m enjoying every moment of it now, soaking it all in, and trying to make another push at this.”
In other Tuesday matches, former UCLA standout Maxime Cressy dismissed 39-year-old Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-2, qualifier Sebastian Ofner defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, and Peter Gojowczyk beat American qualifier Mitchell Krueger 6-2, 6-2.
Wednesday will see all second-round matches take to the lawns of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Written by Nina Pantic