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
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
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.

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003