After win over Coric at Indian Wells, 40 is looking good on Karlovic

After win over Coric at Indian Wells, 40 is looking good on Karlovic

The Croatian beat the world No. 12, 6-4, 7-6 (2), in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Ivo Karlovic is off to a good start as a 40-year-old, winning his first two matches since turning that age a couple of weeks ago.

Declaring that "40s are the new 30s," the 6'11" Croat beat his 22-year-old countryman Borna Coric to reach the third round of Indian Wells.

Karlovic says his nickname in Croatia has changed from "giant" to "grandpa" but his new age doesn't have him fazed.

"No, actually it was okay," he said. "I remember when I was turning 30, I was a little bit down. Now I'm old already, so it's okay."

Already known for his height, his historic defeat of defending champion Lleyton Hewitt at 2003 Wimbledon, and his huge serving, Karlovic is now also used to setting age records.

"Every week I'm oldest at something," he joked.

This week, he's the oldest player to win an ATP match since Jimmy Connors in 1995, having already become the oldest ATP finalist since 1997 at Pune at the beginning of the season. 

"It's nice that I'm in a conversation with Connors and all those guys, even if it's just about age," he said.

Though much older than most of his fellow ATP pros, Karlovic says he's in good condition—for his age, anyway.

"Physically, yes, fine. Obviously, there's always little bit issues with my knee, shoulder, back, elbow...," he joked. "But it's all good."

The oldest player in the Top 100 at No. 89, which he describes as "unbelievable in the 40s," Karlovic's aim these days is "just stay Top 100" and stay healthy. Having a family at home means he also has other priorities.

"Right now, either way, it's good," he said. "If I keep on winning it's, obviously, good. But if not, I'll be spending more time at home, so it's also good. So I'm relaxed."

Karlovic's daughter is seven, and he also has a one-and-a-half year old son. But they are also why he sometimes lacked motivation during 2018, when he dropped below the Top 100 in the rankings.

"They could not travel with me that much. And always when I would leave, it was hard. They were sad. I was sad, and I didn't want to do it so much."

But that has improved, Karlovic noted, saying, "Everything's better when you begin to win more."