2011 US Men’s Clay Court Championship: Ivo Karlovic Vs Ryan Sweeting – Semi-final Preview

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2011 US Men’s Clay Court Championship: Ivo Karlovic Vs Ryan Sweeting – Semi-final Preview

Booming Croatian qualifier, Ivo Karlovic will face American wild card entrant, Ryan Sweeting in the semi-final at 2011 US Men’s Clay Court Championship on 9th of April.
After duelling each other for the first time on hard courts at San Jose earlier this season, they will now face each other at the semi-final of this ATP World Tour 250 event in Houston. Karlovic edged the American by a 6-4, 6-4
victory in 70 minutes on their last face to face. He fired 19 ferocious aces to Sweeting’s one and clobbered less double faults. The Croat also had a higher first serve share of 72 percent as compared to American’s 62 percent and earned an impressive 85 percent
win on it.
A former top fifteen player, Karlovic was out of action since May last year due to Achilles injury but he made an epic comeback at the start of this season by making a quarter-final berth at Doha. However, he lost his form later
and exited from the opening rounds at Australian Open, Memphis, Zagreb and Delray Beach. Currently ranked at 174 in the South African Airways ATP World Tour rankings, Karlovic re-formed his strategy and displayed his skills at Indian Wells where he reached
the quarter-finals before losing to world number one Rafael Nadal.
In this tournament, the Croat carried the same momentum and after overwhelming three players in the qualifiers including 2nd seeded American Donald Young to reach the main draw. He continued to display exceptional skills
in the pre semi rounds as he upset 5th seeded German Benjamin Becker and 4th seeded American john Isner.
His last match against world number 29 Isner was a hat trick of tiebreakers. Karlovic just found one breakpoint and converted it to his advantage in the match and had a higher first serve share of 64 percent. Though the 32-year-old
committed five double faults and had a lower return point winning share of 24 percent but he fired 24 aces and saved 10 out of 11 breakpoints through his amazing defensive skills.
Ranked 93rd in the world, Sweeting has a convincing progress in this season and reached the quarter-finals at Delray Beach before losing to Japanese Kei Nishikori. In this Clay Court Championship, Sweeting dumped his
qualifier compatriot Tim Smyczek in straight sets in the first round. He then upset his 2ndseeded countryman Sam Querrey in three sets. In the quarter-final, he triumphed over Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in a three set thriller to reach this spot.
In his last match, the 23-year-old Sweeting smashed five aces and had a much better first serve share of 59 percent against the Russian. Though he committed four double faults, the American saved three out of five breakpoints and
converted five out of seven breakpoint opportunities to his advantage to earn a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Karlovic is more likely to clinch the set by 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 score line against the American. He can attain this victory if he keeps the same momentum, fire more aces and save all the break points. However the Croat should produce
less double faults and needs to find more breakpoint opportunity and convert them to his advantage if he is to win convincingly.



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