Ivo Karlovic accuses officials of cheating him out of win against Andy Murray

 

Wimbledon

Ivo Karlovic, beaten in the second round by Andy Murray here yesterday, left the All England Club in a state of fury last night after claiming that he had been cheated out of possible victory by line judges who foot-faulted him regularly in the match. Karlovic, who calculated that he had been foot-faulted 11 times, called his treatment "outrageous", said the officials were biased and claimed that the credibility of the tournament had been damaged.

The 33-year-old Croatian, who was beaten 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, has a reputation as one of the game's biggest servers, but his rhythm was interrupted by the foot faults. "I feel cheated," he said. "It was outrageous, outrageous. It's Wimbledon, Centre Court, and they do this.

"In my whole life, ever since I was eight years old, I didn't do this many foot faults. They were never called when it was like 30-0 or 40-0. It was always when it was 30-30 or in a tie-break. I mean, what is this? Is it Davis Cup or is it Wimbledon? After this match, the whole credibility of this tournament went down for me."

A fault is called if a player's foot touches the baseline – or the court inside the baseline – before he strikes the ball. Karlovic, who said he had never been foot-faulted more than once or twice in all his previous matches, said he had tried moving further behind the baseline when he served, but to no avail. "I don't know what I'm going to do," he said. "Right now I'm angry about it because I don't expect it here. Even though it is against an English [British] guy who they always want to win, I don't expect it here."

Murray said that he had no idea whether the calls had been correct. "If it turns out that he wasn't footfaulting, if I was him I'd be very, very disappointed," Murray said.

The Scot now meets Marcos Baghdatis, who works with Murray's former coach, Miles Maclagan. Murray was pleased with his own performance. He returned serve well, served consistently and hit the ball with assurance. However, his greatest asset was his mental strength. Against an opponent like Karlovic the need to remain focused and take the limited opportunities presented to him was crucial.

"I've had success against guys of that height and game style," Murray said. "I think I played him three times before and won each one. I've had a decent record against [John] Isner. I normally haven't minded it too much. It's just important to be patient against them. The more times you play against them you know more or less what to expect so you can be a little bit better prepared each time, mentally."

Until last month, Karlovic held the world record for the game's fastest serve at 156mph. His thunderbolts can trouble the very best, particularly on a slick grass court. With the ball struck from a great height – at 6ft 10in the Croatian is the tallest top-100 player in history – his serves bounce higher than most players'. His first serve of the match, a 130mph winner, drew a gasp from the crowd, while later in the game an audacious 128mph second serve – faster than many players' first serves – saved a break point.

Another bombshell hit the top of the fence at the back of the court and flew into the Royal Box, scattering the guests, while a group of eight Chelsea Pensioners might have wondered about the seating arrangements when they found themselves in the servers' line of fire in the second and third rows.

The first requirement when facing any big server is to hold your own serve and Murray got off to the worst possible start, losing five points in a row from 40-0 up as Karlovic broke in the opening game. However, the world No 4 responded in kind, though luck was on his side when his forehand clipped the top of the net and flew over Karlovic's racket on the second break point.

It was not the start that anyone had expected, but the match quickly fell into a more predictable pattern. Karlovic, having trouble returning Murray's kick serves, did not force another break point in the first set, while the Scot had to bide his time. Karlovic saved two set points with big serves at 4-5, but two games later Murray forced a third by running round a body serve to hit a fine backhand return winner, upon which the Croatian double-faulted.

There were no break points in the second set, at the end of which Murray played a poor tie-break. From 5-4 up he missed opportunities to break on the next two points, after which Karlovic took the set with a crisp volley winner. Murray had been calmness personified until that point but berated himself when he sat down at the subsequent changeover.

Nevertheless, the Scot's response was superb. On break point in the opening game of the third set, he hit a damaging return to feet and followed up with a beautiful winning lob into the corner – no mean feat against a man of Karlovic's size. Six games later, he broke again in similarly thrilling fashion, forcing Karlovic into a volley error with a cracking forehand down the line.

Although Karlovic was becoming increasingly frustrated by the foot faults, the Croatian hung on grimly in the fourth set, which went to another tie-break.

At 4-4, Karlovic was again foot-faulted on his first serve and went on to serve a double fault, upon which Murray went on to serve out for the match. The Scot again pointed his fingers to the sky in celebration, as he had after his first-round victory over Nikolay Davydenko, while Karlovic left the court an angry and frustrated man.

Rule Britannia: Who's left to fly the flag?

Men

Andy Murray Third round (tomorrow) v M Baghdatis (Cyp)

James Ward Lost in second round v M Fish (US) 3-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6

Jamie Baker Lost in first round v A Roddick (US) 7-6, 6-4, 7-5

Oliver Golding Lost in first round v I Andreev (Rus) 1-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5

Josh Goodall Lost in first round v G Zemlja (Slvn) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-4

Women

Heather Watson Third round (today) v A Radwanska (Pol)

Elena Baltacha Second round (playing last night) v P Kvitova (Cz Rep)

Anne Keothavong Lost in second round v S Errani (Ita) 6-1, 6-1

Naomi Broady Lost in first round v L D Lino (Spa) 6-4, 7-6

Johanna Konta Lost in first round v C McHale (US) 6-7, 6-2, 10-8

Laura Robson Lost in first round v F Schiavone (Ita) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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.

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform