Re: (22) Hrbaty def. Karlovic, 4-6 6-4 6-7 7-5 6-2
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Hrbaty KO's Karlovic in 5 set thriller
Dominik Hrbaty overcame the big serving Ivo Karlovic today, coming back from two sets to love down to win 4-6 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 6-2, his second 5 set victory in a row.
The number 22 seed who had lost both his previous matches to the giant Croat, looked in deep trouble when at a set all, he conceded the third set on a tiebreaker 7-2.
The Slovakian’s resolve never wavered though, he saved three consecutive break points at 0-1 in the fourth set, and with games going with serve until 5-5, he broke Karlovic for only the second time when the Croat’s backhand chip found the net. He duly served out the set to 15, taking it with a service winner.
Karlovic’s serve which had rewarded him richly with plenty of aces and service winners, suddenly became a liability in the final set as the persistent drizzle took the edge off it, giving Hrbaty a split-second advantage to get the ball back into play.
Hrbaty broke the Karlovic serve at the start of the final set, and consolidated his advantage with a second break to go up 5-2 with a shout of “Dobre!” The Slovakian served out the match to love, completing his victory with an ace.
Hrbaty who had managed to break just once in the first three sets, felt that the Croat's serve limited his chances;
"I had opportunities, but he played well on them. I didn't make mistakes on the break points, I played well. With this kind of player you just have to wait for another chance." He agreed that the rain played a factor in his victory;
"The most important moment was when I broke him early in the fifth, then of course the rain gave me a little advantage."
Two seeds who were not quite so fortunate were Marcos Baghdatis (19) who was beaten in 5 sets by Frenchman Julian Benneteau, and Sebastian Grosjean (21) who surprisingly lost to Martin Vassallo Arguello, also in 5 sets.
By Andre Jones
From Roland Garros
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