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Karlovic hits record 45 aces for spot in Halle semis

June 19, 2015 22:39 IST

Ivo Karlovic. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Croatian Ivo Karlovic hit a record 45 aces en route to beating third seed Tomas Berdych and reach the Halle Open semi-finals on Friday.

The big-serving Croatian, standing at 2.11 metres tall, improved the record for a three-set ATP tour match by one ace, winning 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3.

"Berdych returns quite well really," Karlovic, the world number 27, told reporters. "That's why lots of aces are so important."

Predictably, the 36-year-old Karlovic clinched victory with an ace.

"I didn't really know how many aces I'd done. But when I heard it was 45 I knew that's a new record. Hitting aces helps a lot, you can avoid the volleys. I was surprised when I was told on court after the match how many aces I hit.

"Hopefully I can continue like that in the semi-final."

Asked whether a spot in the last four or the record was more important he said: "That's difficult to say. The semi-final is always good, but only lasts a week. The record may hold for a long, long time."

He will next face either top seed Roger Federer or Germany's Florian Mayer who play later on Friday.

World number five Kei Nishikori was also made to work hard, needing three sets to tame Jerzy Janowicz.

The Pole eventually ran out of steam in the third set after matching Nishikori's precision with his power over two sets. Japan's Nishikori edged out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victory.

The second seed will now meet either Gael Monfils of France or Italian Andreas Seppi.

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