Novak and Djordje Djokovic make doubles debut as Ivo Karlovic sets aces record at China Open
In an eventful day at the China Open, World Number 1 Novak Djokovic decimated Chinese number 1 Zhang Ze in straight sets to reach the quarter finals. BBC also reports that the towering Croatian, Ivo Karlovic has recorded the all-time highest number of aces with 10,247 powerful serves to exceed countryman Goran Ivanisevic’s tally of 10,237 aces.
A delighted Karlovic said, ""It's a great feeling. For the past year, I knew it was possible and I was hoping that it would be this year. It's great that it happened here. I'm not done yet. There are many years in front of me and hopefully that number will go up and up."
ATP keeps track of every player’s ace count for all major tournaments excluding Davis Cup matches. However, Karlovic’s service streak could not prevent him losing to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas by a margin of 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7).
Meanwhile, the tenacious Rafael Nadal has already progressed to the quarter-finals to set up a fascinating encounter on Friday with USA’s Jack Sock. David Ferrer also reached the next round after defeating Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol 7-6 6-2.
In an intriguing doubles contest, Novak teamed up with his younger brother Djordje to complete a maiden doubles victory for the pairing. The 20-year old Djordje was thrust into spotlight due to the immense popularity of his older brother. They defeated the Chinese-Kiwi partnership of Gong Mao-Xin and Michael Venus.
After the match, the 28-year old Novak stated, “It was exciting. I'm very happy for my brother that he was able to experience such an atmosphere. He never played in a big stadium. We enjoyed it very much, encouraging each other to the first win.”
Novak is revered immensely in China and has a flawless 25-0 winning record in the country. With 5 China Open trophies in his glittering career, he is rapidly climbing up into the pantheon of the greatest tennis players to have ever graced the sport.
But, the Serb is not satisfied with his efforts yet. Earlier, he had declared that he was going after Roger Federer’s record Grand Slam tally. Previously, the 10-time Grand Slam winner had combined with his other sibling Marko, albeit without notable success.
The youngest of the 3 brothers, Djordje is ranked 1,502 in the ATP Singles ranking. But, Novak believes that he is extremely passionate about the sport and can establish his own identity in the tennis world.
The siblings will face the victors of the 2014 Wimbledon in the North American combine of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.