PARIS, 28 May 2019 – It has been a perfect start for Croatian tennis players in the opening round of the singles draw at the 2019 French Open at Roland-Garros.
On Tuesday, veteran 40-year-old Ivo Karlović joined fellow Croatians Marin Čilić, Petra Martić, Borna Ćorić and Donna Vekić in the second round of the Grand Slam.
The big serving veteran was too good for Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, winning in four sets 7-6, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 to advance through to the 2nd round. Today was the first time the pair had met on clay in ten matches.
The match was also the first at a Grand Slam since 1977 where the combined age of both players was this high (77 years). The previous match with the oldest combined age was Ken Rosewall v Ion Tiriac at the 1977 Australian Open.
Karlović hit 35 aces and won almost 80% of points on his first serve. In the second round he will meet the winner of the Davidovich-Fokina/Thompson match.
Karlović is now the oldest man to win a match at the French Open in 45 years and the oldest to win a Grand Slam match since Ken Rosewall did it at the 1978 Australian Open when he was 44.