Murray through as giant-serving Ivo comes unstuck

Mon Jul 6, 2015 2:08pm EDT
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By Toby Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Like the archetypal outlaw in a Western, Ivo Karlovic sprayed bullets around Centre Court before being driven out of Wimbledon to raucous cheers as local hero Andy Murray reached the quarter-finals on Monday.

Karlovic's serve, which arrows out of the ether from his giant 2.11 meter frame, is one of tennis's most terrifying weapons, but it was not enough to stop the third seed moving on comfortably with a 7-6(7) 6-4 5-7 6-4 victory.

Modern grasscourt tennis these days requires so much more than just a fearsome opening delivery, and Murray, who has now reached the last eight for the eighth consecutive year, is one of the game's most skilled returners.

Although he did drop a set, he never looked truly troubled by the Croat, whose all-round skill set is lacking in some key departments.

Karlovic was hardly an unknown quantity for Murray.

At 36, he has been around a while and is the oldest player to reach the last 16 at a grand slam since a 39-year-old Jimmy Connors did it at the U.S. Open 24 years ago.

The pair had also met five times previously with Murray winning every one, which included a skirmish at Wimbledon three years ago.

Yet knowing what to expect when facing Karlovic, does not make him any easier to master.   Continued...

Andy Murray of Britain hits the ball during his match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville