Karlovic flexes muscles with another crushing win

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The Independent Online

Ivo Karlovic served up another Wimbledon warning yesterday with a 59-minute victory over Igor Andreev at the 10tele.com Open in Nottingham. The 6ft 10in Croatian sent down 11 aces in beating his Russian opponent 6-4, 6-4.

Ivo Karlovic served up another Wimbledon warning yesterday with a 59-minute victory over Igor Andreev at the 10tele.com Open in Nottingham. The 6ft 10in Croatian sent down 11 aces in beating his Russian opponent 6-4, 6-4.

"If I play well I have got a chance of winning Wimbledon - I feel I am now playing the best I have ever played on grass," Karlovic said. "Last year I was pretty unlucky with the draw because I had to play [Roger] Federer, who is almost unbeatable on grass. But if the draw is kind to me this year I can certainly do better than I did last year."

Karlovic beat Thomas Johansson and Lleyton Hewitt on the way to last week's Queen's final, which he lost to Andy Roddick, and lost to Italy's Daniele Bracciali in the Surbiton final the week before.

Max Mirnyi of Belarus - a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Armenia's Sargis Sargsian yesterday - said: "It would be strange if Ivo were not one of the favourites for Wimbledon. He has such a big serve and has done so well in the last couple of weeks."

France's Richard Gasquet beat the Czech Tomas Zib 7-6, 6-2 to set up a match with Yorkshire's Jonathan Marray. Johansson beat Dmitry Tursunov 7-6, 6-3 after the Russian got a second chance when Andrew Murray withdrew.

The 18-year-old Scot's wild card for the All England Club is not believed to be in jeopardy. In a statement he said: "Playing in Nottingham was a close call but there is a slight inflammation still in the ankle. I am really looking forward to Wimbledon."

In Den Bosch, Elena Dementieva was forced to retire from her Ordina Open second-round match against Denisa Chladkova with a shoulder injury. Michaella Krajicek, the 16-year-old sister of the former Wimbledon champion, Richard, beat Ludmila Cervanova, of Slovakia, 6-1, 6-3.

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