Andy Murray served warning over Ivo Karlovic

 

Wimbledon

Listen to some observers and you would think that Ivo Karlovic, Andy Murray's second-round opponent here this afternoon, had only one weapon in his arsenal. The 6ft 10in Croatian does have a huge serve – he held the world record at 156mph until the Australian Sam Groth launched a 163mph bombshell last month – but Goran Ivanisevic warned yesterday that it would be wrong to dismiss his fellow countryman as a one-shot wonder.

"He's improved a lot," Ivanisevic said of the world No 59. "He moves well for his height. He has a huge forehand. He has this slice which is very dangerous and doesn't bounce."

Nevertheless, the 2001 Wimbledon champion agreed that it was Karlovic's cannonball serve that made him a threat to anyone, especially on grass.

"He doesn't give you any rhythm," Ivanisevic said. "For half an hour you don't have one rally, you don't touch the ball and then all of a sudden you have to play tennis. So it's not easy. You have to be very focused on every single point.

"You just have to pray that he's not going to serve bombs. You have to wait and take every chance that he gives you because there's no tennis there. It's not going to be a beautiful match."

Murray, nevertheless, is one of the best returners in the game and he will have been buoyed by his performance in the opening round against Nikolay Davydenko. He broke the Russian's serve – admittedly not a patch on Karlovic's – six times in a straight-sets win.

"You never know when you step on to the court how you're going to play," Murray said. "The most important thing is that you believe that no matter what the situation is that you can win the match. I got ahead [against Davydenko] and just kept on going. I was in the zone and hitting the ball really well and he wasn't having any chances. The momentum was with me the whole match.

"I don't expect the same thing to happen [against Karlovic]. I expect a different match. There will probably be some ups and downs and there will be times when I don't touch the ball for a couple of games. I'm not necessarily going to be in a rhythm, but I have to make sure that mentally I'm there for every single point because he can miss a couple of easy volleys and he might serve a double fault.

"It's never that comfortable playing against guys like that. He's the tallest guy on the tour. He plays a grass-court game. He likes to come to the net. Guys like Milos Raonic or Kevin Anderson play from the back of the court. He's a bit different. It's challenging because it's not about the way you hit the ball against them a lot of the time. It can be down to a couple of passing shots, a couple of reflex shots and also your focus."

Murray will need to be at his lightning-quick best against 33-year-old Karlovic, who completed a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 victory  over Israel's Dudi Sela yesterday. The Scot said he had developed his fast reactions through playing a variety of sports when he was a child.

"The anticipation comes from playing a lot of different sports and getting that co-ordination from a young age," he said. "I played a load of racket sports from table tennis to squash to badminton, obviously tennis. That probably helped."

Had video games played a part in improving his reactions? "I still play video games quite a lot," Murray said, "but who knows? I have no idea whether it was that or not." Which other players does Murray play video games with? "I play against Rafa [Nadal] and Juan Monaco. David Ferrer plays a lot and I've watched him, but I have not played against him. Most of the tennis players are going to be very good at those sort of things."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York