Ivo Karlovic kicked off the Shanghai Rolex Masters with an emphatic upset on Monday afternoon, as he ousted reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic in three sets.
Cilic, who was coming off a quarter-final loss to Andy Murray in Beijing after compiling a 10-match winning streak that included a remarkable fortnight in new York, was unable to withstand the 20 aces from his countryman and ultimately lost the encounter 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(2).
“It’s a gamble with him,” said Cilic. “He goes all in or nothing. It’s always difficult. He was serving really well towards the end of the match. I couldn’t get into his serve. It can happen with Ivo. It’s always tricky.
“The game, I’m feeling it’s on the spot. Though I lost today, it’s unfortunate, bad luck, but I’m going with positive energy into the next weeks to finish the season well.”
Cilic, who is ranked sixth in the ATP Race to London and is still looking to qualify for the event, even though he suffered a setback during the Asian Swing.
Karlovic will go on to face Yen-Hsun Lu, who defeated Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2.