VIENNA, October 28, 2016
The first two players of the ATP 500 event in Vienna found their way into the semi-finals of the Erste Bank Open, as eighth favourite Ivo Karlovic celebrated his second win over Russia’s #NextGen star Karen Khachanov in as many meetings between the two, rallying from a set down 6-7, 7-6, 6-3.
After clinching the opening set, Khachanov had match point in the 12th game of the second and eventually double faulted on set point Karlovic in the tie-break. The match went the distance. Karlovic started to play more aggressively in the beginning of the final set, gained the first and only break of the match in the second game and consequently served out after two hours and 20 minutes.
What does the big Croat feel after the match? “Happiness,” Karlovic simply stated during his on-court interview.
In his sixth semi-final of the season, Karlovic will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The tournament’s number six extended his head-to-head record over Albert Ramos-Vinolas to 5-0, winning 6-2, 7-5. Tsonga sent down 10 aces and broke the Spaniard’s service three times to advance in one hour and 31 minutes.
“I am pleased to reach the semis, as I had played a couple of good guys,” Tsonga told after reaching the stage of the final four without dropping a set. “It’s really fun out there on court, which is important.”
The world number 15 from France is looking to reach his first final of the season on Saturday. “I saved a bit of energy today, as I won in straight sets today. It will be very difficult against Ivo tomorrow. The last time, I lost to him. He serves well and you need to be very focused on the game.”