By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray will play Ivo Karlovic in the Wimbledon fourth round
- The match is scheduled second on centre court
- There was controversy in their 2012 meeting here due to questionable foot faults against Karlovic.
LONDON, UK- Andy Murray will face a tall order if he is to overcome six foot 11 inch Ivo Karlovic in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Manic Monday.
Six days of non-stop tennis has past, with the 128 man draw being trimmed down to 16 in time for the second week of Wimbledon. All British hopes now lie with Andy Murray as so often is the case. The tournament started out with six Briton’s flying the Union Jack, but one after another they fell, just like the other 112 players who have exited the tournament.
With James Ward’s exit on Saturday, all eyes are now on a 28 year old Scot who is eyeing his second triumph at SW19. Whilst the other Brits did themselves proud in defeat, Murray went about his business as usual breezing through the first week for the loss of only one set.
The lapse in concentration against Andreas Seppi was alarming if anything. Two sets up and cruising, the British number one lost his way after his Italian opponent took a medical time out. Murray lost six straight games and the third set, leaving the centre court crowd reminiscing about old times. But this is the mature Murray of 2015, and he would soon re find his game to get through with no problems at all.
Now as Murray continues to climb the beanstalk towards the Wimbledon title, he will now be met by a giant. But it won’t be the sound of ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ that will worry the Brit, it will be the ‘bang, boom, unreturnable ace’ as Karlovic smells the blood of a Scotsman. It begs the question, can Murray hack down the serve of the Croatian giant?
It is easier said than done when you are facing a man who served 47 aces in three sets against a six foot five Tomas Berdych the other week. And he is not serving much worse at Wimbledon, hitting over 40 aces in his previous three matches in the first week.
“He served extremely well this tournament,” said Murray about Karlovic.
“A couple matches here where he served over 40 aces. In Halle, as well, he served I think the record for three sets with his match with Berdych. Extremely tough match. I’ll need to be very sharp on my returns and try and find a way to get as many of his serves back in play as possible and see what happens. But it’s obviously a very, very tricky match.”
On the Brightside, Murray has managed to slay Goliath five times in the past, including at Wimbledon three years ago. In a second round clash, Karlovic was controversially foot-faulted a number of times. It angered the 36 year old, who accused the line judges of favouring the Brit who came through to win 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (4).
“It was always when it was 30-all or in a tiebreak. I mean, what is this? Is it Davis Cup or is it Wimbledon?”
Three years later, the Croatian is still surrounded in controversy although for different reasons. In his match against Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Karlovic appeared to hit the ball twice set point down. If the umpire had spotted this, the 23rd seed could have potentially lost the set and it would have gone the distance. He denied any wrong doing in his post-match press conference.
“I was going to the net and he hit a cross-court and I stretched my arm. Then the ball hit down on my racket, and then because it hit down, my racket went like this (tilted), and then it hit boom, boom. But it was one motion so that is legal.”
When the players step out on centre court, we will be hoping for less controversy this time around. Can Murray slay the giant? Or will the Brit’s Wimbledon story come to an abrupt end?
Murray vs Karlovic will be second on centre court. You can follow his progress via our live scoring service: Live Scores