HALLE, Germany (AP) Ivo Karlovic served an ATP record 45 aces in beating third-seeded Tomas Berdych on Friday, while Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Andreas Seppi also progressed to the Gerry Weber Open semifinals.
Karlovic defeated Berdych 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3, finishing it off with an ace on match point as the big-serving Croat eclipsed the previous ATP record of 44 for 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 hit 44 aces 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 will next play the top-seeded Federer, who won 6-0, 7-6 (1) against Germany’s Florian Mayer as he moved closer to a record eighth title.
The second-seeded Nishikori beat Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in 2 1/2 hours and next meets Seppi, who advanced after No. 4 Gael Monfils pulled out of their quarterfinal with a right knee injury as the Italian was leading 6-1, 1-0.
Federer broke the 487th-ranked Mayer’s serve three times to wrap up the first set in 19 minutes.
”I was too nervous in the beginning. You look over and you see him there radiating confidence. He gave me no chance,” Mayer said. ”I was much better in then second set. That was OK for me.”
Federer’s level dipped in the second and he failed to convert a break point at 4-4. But he made no mistakes in the tiebreaker as he wrapped up the win in 64 minutes.
”It was a super start. He was able to recover well and it got close. Luckily I was able to play a perfect tiebreak,” said Federer after reaching his 11th straight semifinal at the grass-court tournament.
Karlovic broke at 5-5 in the first set following a double-fault by Berdych. The Croat then saved three set points in the second-set tiebreaker before missing a match point. He then 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 was already looking forward to facing Federer.
”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.