Thursday, September 01, 2005

7-6, 7-6, 7-6

The only thing rarer than a men's tennis game at a grand slam without a tie-break these days is Halley's comet; when you have Ivo Karlovic on one side of the court, tie-breakers are a mathematical certainty. Even the man with the best return of serve the game has seen finds it hard to break down the service of the 6' 10" Croatian giant. It is interesting though, to note how two games with identical scorelines tell quite a story - or two. Of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, that is. Time after time Agassi finds something extra-special to blunt the advantage men like Karlovic or Joachim Johansson have, using all his experience and savvy to stay abreast and eventually overcome the big server. Roddick, on the other hand, lacks variety or subtlety in his game and seems to lack plan B when things don't quite go to script, like they didn't against Giles Muller of Luxembourg. Muller is no pushover, but he was soundly trashed in the next round by Robbie Ginepri, which should also say something about how Roddick played in the first round match. A word about Karlovic then - his game is, not unsurprisingly, thoroughly one-dimensional. On the odd occasion that he has to stay on the baseline for more than stroke, he's about as fidgety as Navjot Sidhu was against an off-spinner flighting lollies, waiting to just chip and charge. No wonder Agassi picked him apart whenever he didn't serve an ace or a winner. On the dumbness (from a tennis perspective) scale, Karlovic is somewhere alongside, above or below Greg Rusedski, Vince Spadea and Taylor Dent. Among these gentlemen Rusedski has clearly had the most success, so I may have to revise my opinion. - NK


Anonymous Pratyush said...

I tried to watch the match but was too bored. Why would I want to watch a Karlovic vs Agassi after I have seen an Ivanisevic vs Agassi?

You get the point :D

2:56 PM  
Blogger Me said...

nice reading.....though i didn't get time to watch it....
nice blog....

1:41 AM  
Blogger Rishi Gajria said...

This is a phenomenal post. Fun to read.
Would love to read about Cricket and Tennis side by side.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Gameboys said...

Pratyush: You have a point, but I think Ivanisevic was a far better player than Karlovic, not to mention one of the best personalities ever to have played the game. Don't forget the Agassi-Ivanisevic thriller in 1992, that was quite a game!

Avik: Thanks. I'm finding it extremely difficult to follow from Australia, but I HAVE TO!

Rishi: and tennis happen to be my fav sports.

- NK

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Pratyush said...

Yep Invanisevic was a far better player which is why I did not enjoy seeing a Karlovic in a similar battle when I had seen better clashes in the past. A bit like if you have been watching the current Ashes contest, you will not be enthuses by a New Zealand-India one dayer.

The 1992 matchup illustrates my point best :)

3:45 PM  

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