DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) Defending champion and third seed Ivo Karlovic was ousted in the first round of the Delray Beach Open by qualifier John-Patrick Smith of Australia 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Monday night.
The 36-year-old Karlovic, ranked No. 28, has been hampered by a left knee injury and retired from his first-round match at the Australian Open last month. This was his first match since and he was admittedly rusty.
Playing with wind whipping through his shirt and his strokes, the 6-foot-11-inch Croat served 21 aces but also hit 11 double faults, including four in the crucial fourth game of the third set when he dropped his serve.
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Earlier, fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov persevered through a four-hour rain delay and wind gusts greater than 30 mph to defeat Israeli Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-2 and reach the second round.