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Australian Open tennis: Ivo Karlovic crashes out, Carla Suarez Navarro advances

Ivo Karlovic was defeated by Andreas Seppi while Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro reached the fourth round of Australian Open thanks to a win over Kaia Kanepi on Friday.

tennis Updated: Jan 19, 2018 15:54 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
Australian Open,Ivo Karlovic,Carla Suarez Navarro
Ivo Karlovic plays a forehand return to Andreas Seppi during their Australian Open tennis encounter.(AFP)

Melbourne, Jan 19, 2018 (AFP) - Italian Andreas Seppi edged out Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic in a titanic five-set battle of the veterans to claim a place in the round of 16 at the Australian Open on Friday.

Seppi, ranked 76, fought off the 89th-ranked Karlovic 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-7 (5/7), 9-7 in 3hr 51min on Hisense Arena.

The Italian, 33, reached the fourth round for the second consecutive year where he will now face Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Sunday.

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The victory levelled his head-to-head record with Karlovic at 2-2.

Seppi is appearing in his 51st consecutive Grand Slam event, while Karlovic, 38, was bidding to become the oldest man to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam since American Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.

Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro powered from a set down against Kaia Kanepi to advance to the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro celebrates winning her match against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi. (REUTERS)

The world number 39 dropped the first set in 38 minutes against her experienced opponent who is 40 places below her in the world rankings.

But she took the match by the scruff of the neck in racing through the second set in 26 minutes against the 32-year-old Estonian who was making her maiden third-round appearance at Melbourne Park.

The third set was a tighter affair but Suarez Navarro always looked in control from the back of the court as she closed out the match in an hour and 43 minutes.

The Spaniard made the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park two years ago but to match that effort looks likely next to have to get past the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who plays 32nd seed Anett Kontaveit later.

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 15:54 IST