The story of Ivo Karlovic often feels under-addressed in tennis. For one, the Croat, freshly 40 years old, possesses perhaps the most-feared serve in the professional game, frequently cited by his peers as the point-starting shot they least want to take on. Beyond that, this past week, he became the oldest winner of a Masters 1000 singles match since the series started in 1990, and, as of late 2018, he was already the oldest tour-level finalist since 1977.

"Obviously 40s are the new 30s, so I'm young again," Karlovic quipped after his second-round victory. "I like it."

Outside the lines, Karlovic wields a great voice in his writing, at times delivered as a pop culture–laced nugget on Twitter. It makes sense then that he would take to social media as a place for him to reshare posts about rappers, athletes, or basically anyone and anything he finds interesting.


Still, he finds a different format in a new piece for the ATP Tour's website, timed to his 40th birthday on February 28. Within, the plainspoken pro—originally dubbed "Giant" by his ATP brethren but now referred to as "Grandpa," he says—speaks candidly about his upbringing and outlook for the future.

"Every time I have a good result, I get mentioned with guys like Jimmy Connors and Ken Rosewall," he says, "and even though it’s only while we’re talking about age, I still think that’s pretty cool. I don’t feel any weaker or any slower than when I was 38, so why not keep going?"

The 6'11" pro, ranked No. 89 and seemingly serving out of a tree, has notched two sturdy victories to open his Indian Wells campaign. First, he edged out Aussie Matthew Ebden in two tiebreak sets and then downed compatriot Borna Coric,  6-4, 7-5.

In classic fashion, the age-defying Karlovic dropped 20 aces on Coric, a 2018 Indian Wells semifinalist and no slouch in the return department. Karlovic has won every match played against his the youngster, who is about half his age.

Karlovic will face Prajnesh Gunneswaran, No. 97 in the world, for a spot in the Round of 16.

Follow Jon on Twitter: @jonscott9.