Big-serving Ivo Karlovic believes he is the victim of favouritism following Andy Murray’s controversial win over the Croatian in the opening rounds of Wimbledon.
Karlovic was beaten by Murray 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Thursday, however he has accused line judges of favouring the home player after a succession of foot faults were called against him at crucial stages during the match.
Calling into question both the judgement of the court officials and the integrity of the tournament, Karlovic told reporters “I don’t know what to say….right now, I’m angry about it…because I don’t expect it here”. Frustrated by the multiple calls, including one that was made in the final tiebreaker of the match, the 6-foot-10 player, one of the tallest to ever make the top 100, placed himself further back beyond the baseline to avoid further calls, but they kept on coming.
Claiming throughout his “whole life I didn’t do this many foot-faults. It was like 11”, Karlovic felt “cheated” by the faults that were “never called when it was 30-0 or 40-0, it was always when it was 30-30 or in a tie-break”. Despite winning the second set tiebreaker, Karlovic also told reporters that in his opinion the faults had a final effect on the result of the match, and without them he may possibly have won it – “You do the calculation. If these 10 points, I win, who would have won?”
One of just two British male hopefuls in the tournament this year, world number 4 Murray did acknowledge that the number of foot-faults called was unusually high, however he refused to comment further simply stating that “If he wasn’t foot-faulting, then he has a right to be upset, because there was a lot of them. But if he was, then you can’t do it.”
Murray will now go on to face world number 42 Marcos Baghdatis, who is coached by Murray’s former mentor, in the third round of the tournament tomorrow.