HALLE, Germany — Ivo Karlovic fired a record 45 aces in upsetting the third-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3 while Kei Nishikori also progressed to the Gerry Weber Open semifinals on Friday.
The second-seeded Nishikori kept a cool head to beat Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 in 2 1/2 hours.
The Japanese player next meets No. 4 Gael Monfils or Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
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Karlovic eclipsed the previous ATP record of 44 in a best-of-three-sets match, which he shared with Mark Philippoussis.
"I always like when I’m best at something, so if it’s aces I’m happy about it," said Karlovic, who tied Philippoussis’ record from Kuala Lumpur in 1995, by firing 44 at Zagreb in February last year.
The men’s record in any singles is 113 aces, by John Isner in his marathon Wimbledon win in 2010 over Nicolas Mahut, who hit 103.
Karlovic made the first break at 5-5 following a Berdych double fault.
The eighth-seeded Croat fought back to level in the second-set tiebreaker after Berdych missed three set points, but he missed a match point, and hit a return into the net for the Czech to take the set.
Karlovic went 3-1 up in the third, held his serve, and finished the match in 2 hours, 12 minutes with yet another ace to set the record.
"I just knew there was a lot of aces, but I didn’t know it was that many," Karlovic said. "The record will always be there, it will always be written. I’m extremely happy."
The 27th-ranked Karlovic will next play either Roger Federer or Germany’s Florian Mayer.
"He’s the best on grass so it will be really difficult, but if I serve like today I will have a chance," Karlovic said of a possible meeting with the top-seeded Federer.