© Ella Ling


Karlovic: the "strange" way I lost my serving record


Ivo Karlovic, who used to hold the record for the fastest serve at 156mph, has told The Tennis Space it is “strange” that Australia’s Sam Groth was able to increase that to 163mph. Groth’s serve was recorded at a second-tier Challenger tournament in Korea last month. “It’s strange that there was such a big gap between my fastest serve and the new record, and it’s going to be difficult to beat.”

Karlovic on being overtaken by Groth: “I was a little bit disappointed, because it was always my goal to have it. I did last year and now already it is gone, and Groth’s serve wasn’t on the ATP Tour. I don’t have any idea what the speed-guns would have been like at the tournament where he did this. I know that he can hit the ball hard. I don’t usually look at the speed gun on court as when you hit an ace, that’s enough. It’s going to be difficult to beat his record. It’s strange that there was such a big gap between my fastest serve and this new record. Of course, I would like to beat the record.”

Karlovic on how he has worked hard on his serve: “I have natural power but I did a lot to work on it. It’s not just because of my height, as everybody always likes to say, but because I’ve spent hours and hours on it. When I was young, there weren’t always a lot of opportunities to practise other strokes, so I practised my serve every day. In the evenings I used to spend hours and hours hitting serves. But, on court, you have to be relaxed because if you’re not relaxed, your arm will be too stiff and then it won’t be as quick.”

Ivo Karlovic is playing at this week’s Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.