The final of the 2019 ATP Maharashtra Open will feature the World No. 6 Kevin Anderson against the 39-year-old Croatian Ivo Karlovic.
Watch & bet on Kevin Anderson v Ivo Karlovic final live in the ATP Maharashtra Open with bet365 here* on Saturday, January 5. The Anderson v Karlovic final will begin around 5:00 pm local time (GMT +5:30)
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A Decent Run for the Two Players
Anderson, who was the runner-up in Pune last year, has made it to the final once again on the back of a pretty remarkable performance. The South African has been seeded first for the tournament and was given a bye into the second round.
Since then, he has won all of his matches in straight sets, including his semifinal fixture against Gilles Simon. That was certainly an intriguing match, considering that it was Simon himself who defeated Anderson in the final last year in Pune. Having avenged his defeat, the World No. 6 is just one win away from his sixth singles title of his career.
As for Karlovic, his path to the final was more or less similar. In the opening round, he defeated the Canadian qualifier Felix-Auger Aliassime following which, he met Evgeny Donskoy. He hardly faced any difficulties in that fixture as he won the match 6-4, 7-5.
He then overcame Ernests Gulbis in straight sets. It wasn’t until the semifinal against Steve Darcis that he faced some problems. Karlovic was taken to three sets but he ultimately won 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.
With that win, Karlovic wrote history by becoming the oldest player reach a final on the ATP Tour in 42 years. Before him, it was Ken Rosewall who won the 1977 Hong Kong Championship at the age of 43.
Karlovic’s 2018 Season
The Croatian spent most of his previous season between the ATP and Challenger Circuits. He didn’t have much luck on the ATP side except for a couple of runs to the third round in the Australian Open and ATP New York. He also was a semifinalist in Houston.
On the Challenger Tour, however, he was the runner-up in Monterrey and the winner in Calgary. As for his rankings, he finished the year as the World No. 100.
Anderson’s Career-Best Spell
In 2018, Anderson reached his career-high singles ranking of World No. 5 before settling for the No. 6 position. He won a couple of titles in Vienna and New York and was also a semifinalist in big events like the ATP Finals, Madrid Masters, and Rogers Cup.
His most impressive run came at the Wimbledon, where he reached the final after defeating the likes of Roger Federer and John Isner in five exhausting sets. Ultimately, he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
Anderson v Karlovic – Head to Head
Anderson and Karlovic have met each other only four times on the ATP Tour. The reigning ATP Vienna champion leads 3-1 although, in their last two encounters, Karlovic was forced to retire early.
Both of those fixtures were played in 2014 with the most recent one being the 2014 French Open. Back then, they met in the third round and Karlovic retired from the match after going down 6-3 in the first set.
Anderson v Karlovic – Who Will Win?
Comparing the form of the two players, it comes as no surprise to see Anderson starting this match as the overwhelming favorite. He has been efficient throughout the tournament and he can very well go the distance here.
However, Karlovic is known for his massive serve and that is something that the top seed needs to keep in mind. For instance, in his semifinal fixture against Darcis, the Croat doled out 33 aces while against Gulbis, the count was 25.
This is going to be a beautiful game to watch, nonetheless. Expect this one to go to three sets.