In keeping up with the wacky week one results, top seed Novak Djokovic was downed by Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-final round of the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open, thus ending his win streak from last September.
In their first meeting in over seven years, the towering Croatian rallied from a set down to defeat Djokovic 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4 in the Serb’s third match at the tournament. Karlovic hit 21 aces and 49 winners to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.
“It was unbelievable,” said Karlovic in his on-court interview following the match. “When I arrived here, I didn’t expect that one. He wasn’t able to show his full range because it was windy. I just focused on my game and in the end I was a little luckier.”
Karlovic appeared to only get stronger as the match went on, as he struck 20 winners in the second set and eventually pressured Djokovic enough to snatch a late break and close the match out in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
This is Karlovic’s second ever win over a No. 1 player, as he defeated Roger Federer at the 2008 Western and Southern Open and has now managed a second win seven years later. He will next face David Ferrer, who dispatched Dustin Brown in straight sets to reach the semi-final round of the tournament.
“I think the (windy) conditions favoured me,” said Ferrer. “Dustin has a very good serve and with the wind it was more difficult for him than me. Fortunately I could win playing solid, because I cannot do too much with the wind.”