Number 2 seed Ivo Karlovic (CRO), the hard serving 6’10” Croatian, defeated crowd favorite, Nebraskan Jack Sock (USA) 7-6(3), 6-4 in the second of two semi-final matches today on the grass courts of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, RI. Karlovic’s victory sets up a clash with American Rajeev Ram who dispatched of left-handed John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 6-4, 7-6(4) earlier in the day.
Neither Karlovic nor Ram are strangers to the crowds here in Newport. This is Karlovic’s second consecutive year in the finals, losing in 2014 to former world #1 Lleyton Hewit. Ram is a former Newport champion, winning both the singles and doubles titles here in 2009.
This is Karlovic’s 5th ATP World Tour final and Ram’s 2nd.
Ram will end a three-year America finalist drought in Newport. John Isner (who Ram defeated in the 1st round) was the last player from the U.S. to reach the finals here, when he retained his title in 2012. Ram becomes the sixth American to reach multiple finals at the grass-court event, joining Isner (2011-12), David Wheaton (1994-95), Bryan Shelton (1991-92), Hank Pfister (1977, ’81-82) and Brian Treacher (1976,’79).
Sunday’s match starts at 2pm. Great seats still available!