Ivo Karlovic did not face a break point in defeating Marco Chiudinelli 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of theHall of Fame Tennis Championships on Friday. The Croatian landed 71 per cent of first serves, fired 16 aces and closed out the win in 61 minutes. He will face Marcos Baghdatis on Saturday.
“The conditions were difficult today, very hot,” said Karlovic, who was runner-up in Newport last year (l. to Ram). “I was in England for the past month and it was quite cold, same as here earlier this week. I was lucky to be done in two sets. It’s my game to hit a lot of aces, play a lot of quick points.
“Normally, I’m pretty good with the heat,” said the 37 year old, the oldest player in the draw. “This year I struggled a bit with my knee so I didn’t do as much work. But every day you’re in the heat, you get more resilient, so that’s a good thing.”
Donald Young also secured a semi-final spot in just over an hour, taking out top seed Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3. Young hit eight aces and saved all five break points faced to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final on grass. Johnson only landed 46 per cent of first serves and dropped serve three times to succumb in 64 minutes.
“Steve and I know each other well, we train together in the off-season, so there are no mysteries there. I tried to dictate with my serve and forehand,” Young said. “It’s been a light, fun week. I’m very happy. Most importantly I feel like I am serving and returning well, starting the points off on the right foot. I saw him adjusting his toss due to the sun. He has a great serve so that worked in my favor a bit.”
Young will face Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the semis.