Mon Mar 07 08:27am EST
Watch the anticlimactic moment, when nobody seems to realize that history had just been made, below:
The serve speed record is a big deal. It gives the 32-year-old Karlovic a spot in tennis history beyond his record-breaking height and the four lesser titles he's won. Karlovic has always been known as a big server but was mostly defined by his mediocre results in Grand Slams. Despite once reaching the top 15 in the ATP rankings, the Croat has only once advanced past the fourth round of a major. That ignominious mark will now be partially overshadowed by the fact that Karlovic's name will be mentioned every time a big server plays a match and cranks up a serve in the high-140s. It's not Federer's Grand Slam mark, but it's its own unique slice of tennis history.
That's what makes the record-setting moment so strange. Because the record isn't well-known (most fans are aware Roddick held the record but probably couldn't have told you the speed), few in attendance realized they just saw history. Even if one was aware that the mark was 155 mph, it still would have been tough to identify unless you're really, really good at metric conversions, as the speed was displayed as 251 kph rather than mph. Most importantly, this came in a doubles match and I, for one, have no idea that a serve hit in a doubles match could count for such purposes.
It shouldn't. If we're talking Guinness Book of World Records type of stuff, then I'd accept Karlovic's record. In terms of tennis marks that have to be confirmed by the ITF, no way. This is doubles. Though Karlovic's ace was hit within the guidelines of a singles serve, rules allow a doubles server to hit from behind the doubles alley. If there are different rules, there should be different records.Karlovic and Ivan Dodig lost 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles against Christopher Kas and Philipp Petzschner. Germany later won the first-round series 3-2.
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