Karlovic Matchups [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Karlovic Matchups

PiggyGotRoasted
02-06-2009, 04:39 PM
His recent results have got me thinking, like someone said I cant remember who but they said the order of difficulty he finds players to play against is not the atp order rather about matchups.

So what are his favourite players to play against and what are his nightmares?

IMO

he likes to play against people who play far behind the baseline, so that includes people such as nadal and monfils...

Sapeod
02-06-2009, 05:17 PM
I don't really think that he likes to play a type of player, or hates to play a type of player. If his serve is on, he can beat anyone apart from excellent returners eg. Murray, Nadal, Ferrer.

By the way did you know that he has a 3-0 h2h record against Hewitt.

TankingTheSet
02-06-2009, 05:25 PM
Can someone dig up statistics for this? It must be possible to get a list of H2H results sorted on succes rate? If you have that the trend should be pretty obvious if there is one.

TankingTheSet
02-06-2009, 05:28 PM
Check out Melzer's record against Karlovic (5-0).

From following some of those matches if I remember well, Melzer's strategy involved concentrating his efforts on Karlovic's serve only at specific moments, for example tie-breaks. Many other service games from Karlovic he didn't even waste energy and just let Karlovic win it. Maybe this kind of focusing is a good strategy against such a big server (i.e. don't fight the serve all the time).

Sapeod
02-06-2009, 05:31 PM
Check out Melzer's record against Karlovic (5-0).

From following some of those matches if I remember well, Melzer's strategy involved concentrating his efforts on Karlovic's serve only at specific moments, for example tie-breaks. Many other service games from Karlovic he didn't even waste energy and just let Karlovic win it. Maybe this kind of focusing is a good strategy against such a big server (i.e. don't fight the serve all the time).

Great strategy Mel. :yeah: I don't know which player it was, but I remember seeing a h2h record of 9-0, 8-0 or something. If only I could remember. :mad:

Voo de Mar
02-06-2009, 05:36 PM
I don't really think that he likes to play a type of player, or hates to play a type of player. If his serve is on, he can beat anyone apart from excellent returners eg. Murray, Nadal, Ferrer.


Actually I agree with this. I've written once again in the thread his last match in Zagreb about his weak 2nd serve. IMO it's a main factor of his results. Usually he has around 70 % of 1st serves in, but what's more important, he needs to stay with this percentage throughout the match. For example he can hit 4 first serves in a row in a game and win it quickly to 0, in the other game it would be 3 out of 6 (50 %), he is broken to 30 and we see the final scoreline 3-6 6-7(4) with 70 % of 1st serves in...

HattonWBA
02-06-2009, 05:38 PM
He does not have good or bad match ups, if he serves well he wins 95% of the time and if he does not serve well he loses 100% of the time. Thats it

GlennMirnyi
02-06-2009, 06:21 PM
It's not that simple. This is actually a good topic.

Melzer has a great record against Karlovic for some reasons. First, he's a leftie. Karlovic has no backhand, so in his own service games, he can just hit to his backhand and go to the net. Second, he's a pretty decent volleyer, helps him. Third, he's a good returner, with compact strokes, doesn't back up that much to return. Fourth, he has skill, so he can also dropshot, slice, change pace. Fifth, he's fast.

Hewitt losing so many times to Karlovic could be related to Hewitt having a big forehand swing, also to Hewitt having the topspin lob as #1 choice of passing shot (nullified by a guy as tall as Karlovic).

A typical match of a guy who plays right into Karlovic's strengths was Starace in Rome. Starace was doing exactly what Karlovic likes - staying too far behind to return serve, giving rhythm to his forehand, not going to the net. Watch Federer play Karlovic - he goes to the net all the time, always on the backhand, wins most of the points.

jazar
02-06-2009, 07:21 PM
to beat karlovic you need to be able to return well and pass well

malisha
02-06-2009, 07:35 PM
Watch Federer play Karlovic - he goes to the net all the time, always on the backhand, wins most of the points.

agree...Kiefer do exact same thing when play him


Second thing Karlo dont like is deep junkballs...he prefer strong excange where he can execute fast and strong

CrossCourt13
02-06-2009, 07:40 PM
I've said it in the other thread and here's how I see it.
Return is important but it alone won't get you far. Most of the French players can break him (Santoro, Clement, Llodra, Simon, Monfils, even Benneteau come to mind) cause they are pretty much all good returners can put a lot of his serves into play.

But equally important is to be safe on your own service games and to try only to maneuver him around the court, not go for winners and risk to much. You also have to deal well with slice, pretty much most of the "smaller" (shorter) guys do as they are lower to the ground.
K
arlo has a 20-23 score against Frenchies but 38-22 against the Yanks- is there something to it? It think so. French guys can return serve and aren't all ballbashing behind their own :)
Blake, for example has an excellent return but it never gets him anywhere against Karlo cause he always gives chances when serving and is poor when it comes to playing big points.
The Spaniards, who aren't particularly known for liking to play against big serving guys also have a positive record against Karlo (22-21), I guess cause they play a safe game, they don't give away cheap points,..at least that's how I figure it

Bad matchups (except the French :p)- Kiefer, Melzer, Murray, Nalbandian, Stepanek, Stakhovsky, Stadler :)) come to mind

groundstroke
02-06-2009, 07:43 PM
Nicolas Kiefer was once never aced against by Ivo Karlovic in a match, check it up.

Henry Chinaski
02-06-2009, 07:45 PM
Given his height he's obviously going to struggle against a decent low slice.

TankingTheSet
02-06-2009, 07:48 PM
Nicolas Kiefer was once never aced against by Ivo Karlovic in a match, check it up.

Monfils against an injured Karlovic in Monte Carlo last year, 0 aces.

But doesn't anyone agree with my observation about Melzer, that a good tactic against Karlovic can be to not fight his serve all the time. I mean a player can fight mentally and physically with deuce scores, breakpoints etc. in a Karlovic service game but eventually his serve will get him out of trouble and the opponent will be get tired or frustrated. A player can save energy if he can concentrate his efforts on specific moments.

scarecrows
02-06-2009, 07:51 PM
Nicolas Kiefer was once never aced against by Ivo Karlovic in a match, check it up.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/popMatchStats.asp?sd=singles&trnnum=410&trnyear=2008&rnd=3&plyr=K336

never happened with kiefer

oranges
02-06-2009, 08:17 PM
Kiefer is the one who managed to bagel him :lol:
All the mathcup considerations are really only important for best of three matches, in best of five well-rounded good players find they way to victory eventually. The only victory worth mentioning Karlovic has in this realm is the one against Hewitt at Wimbledon.

Certinfy
02-06-2009, 08:21 PM
Karlovic does good against some of the top players.

Nearly beat Nadal at Queens last year.

Beat Federer at Cincinatti.

But then against some players you would expect him to beat, he loses to them.

Henry Chinaski
02-06-2009, 08:25 PM
Monfils against an injured Karlovic in Monte Carlo last year, 0 aces.

But doesn't anyone agree with my observation about Melzer, that a good tactic against Karlovic can be to not fight his serve all the time. I mean a player can fight mentally and physically with deuce scores, breakpoints etc. in a Karlovic service game but eventually his serve will get him out of trouble and the opponent will be get tired or frustrated. A player can save energy if he can concentrate his efforts on specific moments.

It's a great strategy for a nutcase like Melzer who would probably be smashing his racket after 2 games if he tried to return every serve.

I wonder is it a tactic The J employs against all big servers because his record against them is generally excellent. Winning records v Ivo, Isner, Berdych, Ancic, Safin, Llodra, Lopez, Ljubo etc

It would also partly explain his dreadful record against Roddick as such a tactic is unlikely to work against someone so mentally tough.

Snowwy
02-06-2009, 08:32 PM
It's not that simple. This is actually a good topic.

Melzer has a great record against Karlovic for some reasons. First, he's a leftie. Karlovic has no backhand, so in his own service games, he can just hit to his backhand and go to the net. Second, he's a pretty decent volleyer, helps him. Third, he's a good returner, with compact strokes, doesn't back up that much to return. Fourth, he has skill, so he can also dropshot, slice, change pace. Fifth, he's fast.

Hewitt losing so many times to Karlovic could be related to Hewitt having a big forehand swing, also to Hewitt having the topspin lob as #1 choice of passing shot (nullified by a guy as tall as Karlovic).

A typical match of a guy who plays right into Karlovic's strengths was Starace in Rome. Starace was doing exactly what Karlovic likes - staying too far behind to return serve, giving rhythm to his forehand, not going to the net. Watch Federer play Karlovic - he goes to the net all the time, always on the backhand, wins most of the points.

I agree with this for the most part, but I wouldnt say that Federer goes to the net all the time and wins most of the points.

Federer has only won 6 sets without tiebreaks in 7 matches and one of those was in a losing effort. His key seems to be to win the tiebreaks. He is 8-3 in tiebreaks in 7 matches against Ivo.

Voo de Mar
02-06-2009, 08:38 PM
I agree with this for the most part, but I wouldnt say that Federer goes to the net all the time and wins most of the points.

Federer has only won 6 sets without tiebreaks in 7 matches and one of those was in a losing effort. His key seems to be to win the tiebreaks. He is 8-3 in tiebreaks in 7 matches against Ivo.

Yes, because his tactics is simple: holds his serve and waits until the tie-break where is concentrated more on each of Karlovic's 2nd serve. This tactics didn't pay at their last meeting :shrug:

Sapeod
02-06-2009, 09:08 PM
Here's a fact. These are the only people to have ever bagled Karlovic EVER!

Tuomas Ketola - 6-0, 6-4 (Lucknow 2 futures tournament 1999)
Nicolas Kiefer - 6-0 7-6(7-0) (Indianapolis 2004)

These are the only two players to bagle him ever. :worship: to these guys, to actually bagled Dr.Ivo
Gasquet came close to bagling Karlovic 6-1 1-0 in Hamburg Masters 2005.

Deathless Mortal
02-06-2009, 09:29 PM
Check out Melzer's record against Karlovic (5-0).

From following some of those matches if I remember well, Melzer's strategy involved concentrating his efforts on Karlovic's serve only at specific moments, for example tie-breaks. Many other service games from Karlovic he didn't even waste energy and just let Karlovic win it. Maybe this kind of focusing is a good strategy against such a big server (i.e. don't fight the serve all the time).

I don't remember I've watched any of their matches but it doesn't sound like a safe strategy to me. I mean it's not all about you when you have to return serve and if Karlovic hits a strong serve in a good angle you'll have hard time returning it no matter how hard you concentrate. And they've only played 4 TBs in 11 sets.
IMO Ivo normally has big problems beating good returners like Clement, Santoro, Murray, but also when his 1st serve percentage is not high, any at least solid player will have a decent chance beating him since his 2nd serve is really one of his worse shots, it would be a lot better for him if he'd go for a stronger 2nd serve risking a few DFs per match but when the serve would get in he'd most probably win it.

Voo de Mar
02-06-2009, 09:40 PM
IMO Ivo normally has big problems beating good returners like Clement, Santoro, Murray, but also when his 1st serve percentage is not high, any at least solid player will have a decent chance beating him since his 2nd serve is really one of his worse shots, it would be a lot better for him if he'd go for a stronger 2nd serve risking a few DFs per match but when the serve would get in he'd most probably win it.

My thoughts... I don't know why Ivo is so conservative at 2nd serves. His 1st serves are usually around 70 %, it's a great percentage to risk 2nd serve! Everytime at 30-40 or in the tie-break, when Ivo mishits 1st serve he is in the situation 30/70 or 40/60 to win the point. Actually the point in that moment depends on the receiver and his concentration to keep a deep ball into play and wait for Ivo's error from the baseline.

TankingTheSet
02-06-2009, 09:41 PM
The particular match that I remember is this one:

Cincinnati AMS 2007, Melzer def. Karlovic 7-6(4) 7-6(2)

http://www.atpworldtour.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/popMatchStats.asp?sd=singles&trnnum=422&trnyear=2007&rnd=2&plyr=K336

Total Return Points Won: Karlovic 28% (26/91), Melzer 21% (14/66)

From those stats you can see what was going on -- Karlovic won almost twice as many return points, Melzer only won 14, with many of those coming in the TBs. So Karlovic easily won all his service games but still lost convincingly in the TBs.

GlennMirnyi
02-06-2009, 10:22 PM
agree...Kiefer do exact same thing when play him


Second thing Karlo dont like is deep junkballs...he prefer strong excange where he can execute fast and strong

Yeah, it's related to his technique. His forehand has a short preparation swing, he prefers flatter shots, so he can accelerate himself with the shorter swing.

I've said it in the other thread and here's how I see it.
Return is important but it alone won't get you far. Most of the French players can break him (Santoro, Clement, Llodra, Simon, Monfils, even Benneteau come to mind) cause they are pretty much all good returners can put a lot of his serves into play.

But equally important is to be safe on your own service games and to try only to maneuver him around the court, not go for winners and risk to much. You also have to deal well with slice, pretty much most of the "smaller" (shorter) guys do as they are lower to the ground.
K
arlo has a 20-23 score against Frenchies but 38-22 against the Yanks- is there something to it? It think so. French guys can return serve and aren't all ballbashing behind their own :)
Blake, for example has an excellent return but it never gets him anywhere against Karlo cause he always gives chances when serving and is poor when it comes to playing big points.
The Spaniards, who aren't particularly known for liking to play against big serving guys also have a positive record against Karlo (22-21), I guess cause they play a safe game, they don't give away cheap points,..at least that's how I figure it

Bad matchups (except the French :p)- Kiefer, Melzer, Murray, Nalbandian, Stepanek, Stakhovsky, Stadler :)) come to mind

That was my point, actually. To beat Karlovic, you need first to hold comfortably yourself. And I agree about the maneuvering part. You don't need to overpower Karlovic - you need to move him all over the court. Stepanek beats him exactly like that. Slice, dropshot, varies the pace, moves Karlovic.

I agree with this for the most part, but I wouldnt say that Federer goes to the net all the time and wins most of the points.

Federer has only won 6 sets without tiebreaks in 7 matches and one of those was in a losing effort. His key seems to be to win the tiebreaks. He is 8-3 in tiebreaks in 7 matches against Ivo.

I said against Karlovic. He plays all the time going to the net.

Ivo#1Fan
02-06-2009, 11:56 PM
Having watched endless Karlovic matches my conclusion is that the way to beat him is to not make errors. Brain dead bashers are the ones I fear the least. Blake and Fish always lose to Karlovic because they go for too much and that plays into Ivo's game. Sure they rip some amazing winners, but they occasionally string two or three misses together and drop a service game as a result. You simply can't drop serve to Ivo. Ivo is basically a pusher (who occasionally tees off on a forehand) who doesn't move all that well. Consistent players who put the ball in the court and can keep Ivo off the net beat him. Intelligent players who keep the ball on Ivo's backhand side and particular keep the serve to Ivo's backhand (Llodra for example) beat Ivo. I've never seen Ivo come over a backhand return; how hard is it to serve to the backhand and come in when you know you're going to face a slice return. As previous posters have pointed out, the 2nd serve is a weakness, so if you can hold on until the TB and then face a 2nd serve even players ranked 400 have a solid chance of winning. Also Ivo does throw in occasional service games where he misses a lot of 1st serves and in those games he's breakable.

Despite his limitation Ivo's had some amazing results for a guy who's 6'10". No one else anywhere near his size has been able to compete at the level Ivo has on the ATP tour. When Ivo's on he's certainly capable of beating absolutely anyone. There are very few other players you can say that about.

Snowwy
02-07-2009, 12:11 AM
I said against Karlovic. He plays all the time going to the net.

But you said he wins all the time when he goes to the net. I find this hard to believe with the sets being that close. Maybe you could say that for the TBs but not the whole matches.

GlennMirnyi
02-07-2009, 12:16 AM
But you said he wins all the time when he goes to the net. I find this hard to believe with the sets being that close. Maybe you could say that for the TBs but not the whole matches.

Federer goes to the net in pretty much all of his points on serve, and it's pretty clear why... I said "most" of the points, not "all the points". Karlovic has no backhand passing shot, so it's piece of cake to go to the net against him on that side.

habibko
02-07-2009, 12:19 AM
another issue I'd like to bring here is his horrible best of 5 sets record, Karlovic never serves as well deep in a Grand Slam match which usually results in one crucial break, and of course he almost never breaks in the 5th set (a statistic here will help much :cool:)

however I see no realistic way for him to overcome this weakness in order to do well in slams, the only slam he could have great results in is the US Open since it has a 5th set tiebreak but even there the best he reached is the 3rd round.

Snowwy
02-07-2009, 12:22 AM
Federer goes to the net in pretty much all of his points on serve, and it's pretty clear why... I said "most" of the points, not "all the points". Karlovic has no backhand passing shot, so it's piece of cake to go to the net against him on that side.

Fair enough, i just don;t think youre giving Ivo enough credit :p

Bernard Black
02-07-2009, 12:44 AM
Interesting that people have suggested the way to beat Karlovic is to be consistent and hit constantly to the backhand. Nadal is the master of these two things and yet Karlovic could have and should have beaten him at Queen's last year. He was the only player to get realistically close to beating the Spaniard on grass and among many fans at the time it was considered a humiliation for Karlovic to lose to Nadal on a fast surface.

Not saying I disagree with anyone's points, just an ironic thought now Nadal is suddenly considered invincible on all surfaces :lol:

Ivo#1Fan
02-07-2009, 02:45 AM
Interesting that people have suggested the way to beat Karlovic is to be consistent and hit constantly to the backhand. Nadal is the master of these two things and yet Karlovic could have and should have beaten him at Queen's last year. He was the only player to get realistically close to beating the Spaniard on grass and among many fans at the time it was considered a humiliation for Karlovic to lose to Nadal on a fast surface.

Not saying I disagree with anyone's points, just an ironic thought now Nadal is suddenly considered invincible on all surfaces :lol:

Why do you say he should have beaten him? I watched that match, Nadal really wasn't even trying at first, he had two rounds of practice under his belt and it looked like he really didn't care, it was just a low level tournament, a grass tuneup for Wimbledon. Then you could see as the match went on that Nadal realized he only had to put minimal effort in to get to tiebreaks. He easily could hold his own service games and didn't even bother trying on Ivo's. Then come the tiebreakers Nadal stepped it up a bit, tried to win return points and easily did. I've never seen Nadal so casual and not fight for every point during a match. Ivo doesn't match up well with Nadal.

GlennMirnyi
02-07-2009, 03:10 AM
Interesting that people have suggested the way to beat Karlovic is to be consistent and hit constantly to the backhand. Nadal is the master of these two things and yet Karlovic could have and should have beaten him at Queen's last year. He was the only player to get realistically close to beating the Spaniard on grass and among many fans at the time it was considered a humiliation for Karlovic to lose to Nadal on a fast surface.

Not saying I disagree with anyone's points, just an ironic thought now Nadal is suddenly considered invincible on all surfaces :lol:

Well, on old grass, I don't think Nadull would ever have a chance. With the grass used now, then it's hard - too slow, too high-bouncing.

Knightmace
02-07-2009, 07:39 AM
Well we all know Ivo plays alot of tie breakers. I think he needs to be mentally strong seve his best at TB situations.

bjurra
02-07-2009, 07:43 AM
He does not have good or bad match ups, if he serves well he wins 95% of the time and if he does not serve well he loses 100% of the time. Thats it

That is the most ridiculous thing you have ever written on MTF.

bjurra
02-07-2009, 07:46 AM
Monfils against an injured Karlovic in Monte Carlo last year, 0 aces.

But doesn't anyone agree with my observation about Melzer, that a good tactic against Karlovic can be to not fight his serve all the time. I mean a player can fight mentally and physically with deuce scores, breakpoints etc. in a Karlovic service game but eventually his serve will get him out of trouble and the opponent will be get tired or frustrated. A player can save energy if he can concentrate his efforts on specific moments.

I agree, but for another reason. If Melzer tanks his service games until 6-6, Karlovic will be rusty at the net going into the tiebreak and be unprepared for low service returns.

jcreback
02-07-2009, 07:52 AM
Here are some records of guys against Ivo (I took players that have played him many times, to eliminate flukes)

Blake 1-3 against Ivo.
Clement 3-3
Federer 6-1
Fish 1-4
Haas 1-4
Hewitt 0-3
Johansson 1-3
Kiefer 4-1
F. Lopez 3-4
Melzer 4-0
Moya 4-0
Murray 3-0
Nadal 2-0
Nalbandian 2-0
Querrey 3-1
Robredo 0-3
Roddick 3-1
Safin 1-2
Santoro 2-0

Take from it what you will. I think Santoro getting him twice is hysterical.

bjurra
02-07-2009, 07:52 AM
another issue I'd like to bring here is his horrible best of 5 sets record, Karlovic never serves as well deep in a Grand Slam match which usually results in one crucial break, and of course he almost never breaks in the 5th set (a statistic here will help much :cool:)

however I see no realistic way for him to overcome this weakness in order to do well in slams, the only slam he could have great results in is the US Open since it has a 5th set tiebreak but even there the best he reached is the 3rd round.

I think a major reason for Ivos 5set record is his fitness, which greatly contributes to his inability to break serve in the 5th.

jcreback
02-07-2009, 07:54 AM
His record in five setters is probably terrible because 3 majors don't have 5th set tiebreaks. He wins a lot of sets via the tiebreaker, and struggles to break serve always. In a fifth set, he has to break the other player and often he cannot. From there, it is only a matter of time before he gets broken himself.

Deivid23
02-07-2009, 07:59 AM
Karlovic improves his game every season and I´ve already seen him hitting backhands this year he couldn´t even dream about before :eek:

Knightmace
02-07-2009, 08:13 AM
Here are some records of guys against Ivo (I took players that have played him many times, to eliminate flukes)

Blake 1-3 against Ivo.
Clement 3-3
Federer 6-1
Fish 1-4
Haas 1-4
Hewitt 0-3
Johansson 1-3
Kiefer 4-1
F. Lopez 3-4
Melzer 4-0
Moya 4-0
Murray 3-0
Nadal 2-0
Nalbandian 2-0
Querrey 3-1
Robredo 0-3
Roddick 3-1
Safin 1-2
Santoro 2-0

Take from it what you will. I think Santoro getting him twice is hysterical.
umm Nadal beat at Queen's? 2008

bjurra
02-07-2009, 09:26 AM
I think Santoro getting him twice is hysterical.

When he played Fabrice in Miami, Ivo had decided to abandon his bh slice and instead practice topspinn bh throughout the entire match. Hysterical indeed! :)

Henry Chinaski
02-07-2009, 11:59 AM
santoro is murder for the slow moving serve volleyers anyway. it's not really a surprising h2h. you have to move as well as someone like Stepanek to s/v against fabrice. you need to be right on top of the net to deal with his low returns and have a lightning reverse gear to deal with the lobs.