Ivo Karlovic, Gilles Muller advance to Hall of Fame final

AP News
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Posted: Jul 16, 2016 7:13 PM

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Second-seeded Ivo Karlovic had a simple answer this week when asked if he could finally win a championship on Newport's grass courts.

"If not now, when?" the 37-year-old Karlovic said.

He'll get his third chance.

Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and third-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg advanced to the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championship on Saturday.

The 6-foot-11 Karlovic reached his third consecutive final on Newport's grass courts, beating fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6).

"It's really nice that I am here again in this situation," Karlovic said. "Hopefully, God will be on my side and I will be able to do it this year."

Karlovic lost in the final the previous two years in the tourney held on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He's seeking his seventh career ATP title.

In the first semifinal, Muller served 18 aces and won 97 percent of his first-serve points in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Donald Young. Muller is looking for his first title.

Muller was 0-3 in his career in Newport before this week, losing in 2006, '08 and '12. After 2012, he decided to skip the event. But changed his mind, looking for more matches to get ready for the Rio Olympics.

"I didn't win matches here, so I told myself I'm not making the trip here," the 33-year-old Muller said. "This year, because of the Olympics, I wanted to play more before the Olympics and I said, 'OK. Let's go for it.' It was the right choice."

The matches followed an hour-long induction ceremony into the Hall. Marat Safin and Justine Henin headed the 2016 class.