Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

39-year-old Karlovic reaches Maharashtra Open final

39-year-old Karlovic reaches Maharashtra Open final

Anderson at 6-foot-8 (2.03 meters), and Karlovic at 6-foot-11 (2.11 meters), made this the tallest final in the Open era, according to the ATP website.

Karlovic became the oldest player at 39 to play a tour-level final since 1977 when 43-year-old Ken Rosewall won at Hong Kong.

"Yes, I know that I am old".

He will play the victor of the second semi-final between world number six Kevin Anderson from South Africa and defending champion Gilles Simon of France. Karlovic saved all eight breakpoints in the two-hour 44-minute match and led 5-2 in the deciding tie-break but the South African reeled off five straight points to clinch the trophy.

"It was unlucky but I would like to congratulate Kevin for an unbelievable past year and this week also", Karlovic said in praise of his top-seeded opponent.

The first break of the match came in the eighth game, with Anderson's long reach helping him to a triple break point.

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"If I'm being really frank, I just feel like I had the worst attitude today", she said. But I am happy that I am still here in all these years with [many] ups and downs and injuries. Anderson had beaten Simon in the semi-final on Friday.

Some phenomenal Karlovic defence forced a second tiebreak and it was Anderson's turn to falter, slipping 5-1 behind after a pair of mini-breaks before the Croatian levelled up.

After holding both service points to narrow the gap to 5/4, Anderson faced two Karlovic serves with the championship in the balance.

The second set saw both the players hold their serves for the first six games each, however Karlovic looked under pressure on a couple of instances as he had to save four break points.

He only served two aces compared with the 11 sent down by Chardy, but Nishikori returned superbly and pressured the Frenchman's serve throughout, breaking him twice in each set. Now, all eyes are on the towering South African in the coming weeks.

Interesting stats: In 4 matches, Anderson played 6 tiebreaks on 9 sets.

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