Roberto Quiroz will square off against Ivo Karlovic on Saturday in the second round at the ATP tournament in Delray Beach, played on hard court.
Quiroz had a solid week so far, winning three matches to get past qualifications and the first round on the main draw. He had a tough three set win in the first qualifying match against Escobar, but then earned two solid straight set wins against Galovic and Rubin – despite being a small underdog in both of those matches.
Ivo Karlovic keeps on going on the tour despite being one month shy of his 42nd birthday. Big Ivo entered Delray Beach having not played since early October – in fact he had played only four matches since the start of the pandemic, losing three of them. Nevertheless, Karlovic managed to get past the first round here with a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory over Pablo Andujar on Friday.
The H2H record reads a 1-0 advantage for Karlovic, who won the sole meeting at the Calgary challenger (indoor hard) back in 2018, a nailbiter with a deciding set tiebreak. Both players enjoy hard courts, although Big Ivo with his serve is a bit better suited on the surface.
Ivo’s win over Andujar was solid. The Spaniard might not be at his best on hard courts, but he is still capable and was a clear favorite in that match.
However, it was a long match, well over 2 hours, and you have to wonder if it will take its toll on Karlovic. Even with his playing style, big serve and short points, he still had to deal with a gritty baseliner, he is 42 years old and doesn’t have matches under his belt. Not to mention this will be a very short turnaround – less than 15 hours since his match against Andujar ended.
Quiroz on the other hand is entering this match in great rhythm, with three matches won this week, seemingly playing better and better with each passing round.
Expect a close match without many opportunities to break, but there’s value on Quiroz here. Karlovic hasn’t won consecutive matches since 2019 (at any level!) and I don’t think there are reasons for him to be a favorite in this clash, even though Quiroz is not a sexy name and barely inside the Top 300 right now. Prediction: Roberto Quiroz – Ivo Karlovic 7-6 4-6 6-3.