Karlovic serves up another victory 

Although he will never rack up considerable tennis style points, Ivo Karlovic continued to make his mark at the SAP Open.

One night after taking down world No. 4 James Blake, Karlovic upset another highly regarded American, this time Mardy Fish, with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory in the quarterfinal round.

Karlovic will face Benjamin Becker, another quarterfinal upset winner, in today’s semifinals.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick regained his composure after a shaky second set and beat Vince Spadea 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to advance to the semifinals. Despite inconsistent play, Roddick was up a break early in the second set and appeared on his way to an easy victory. But a flurry of errors led to frustration for Roddick and allowed Spadea to play his way back into the match. Roddick will play the winner of the late match between defending champion Andy Murray and Hyung-Taik Lee.

As he has been doing for the first two rounds of the tournament, Karlovic continued to take advantage of the quick court surface by blastingaway on his service game, giving his opponents little chance of return volleys.

In the first set, Fish had one chance at a break opportunity, but he couldn’t come through against Karlovic, the world’s 103rd-ranked player.

With the games tied 5-5, Fish surged ahead 30-love on Karlovic’s serve. However, Karlovic rallied with five straight points to take the game for a 6-5 lead. Fish answered with a service victory of his own, but Karlovic dominated the tiebreaker, winning 7-2 to take the first set. The triumph was Karlovic’s third tiebreaker victory of the tournament.

Like his fellow countryman Blake, Fish could just sit in frustrated awe at the spectacle of facing powerful serves coming from a gangly 6-foot-10 body.

"It doesn’t really seem like tennis," said Fish, the world’s 25th-ranked player. "It’s not very often you play a match and you’re excited when it gets to 40-30. ... You feel like if you play a baseline game to 10 or 11 you’d win every time. But that’s not what we’re doing here."

Facing Marat Safin, the world’s No. 1 player in the world for a stretch in 2000, Becker controlled from the outset, dispatching the Russian in a breezy 61 minutes.

Becker, who lost to Safin a month ago in the first round of the Australian Open, led 5-4 in the first set before breaking on the last game to capture the set in dramatic fashion.

He continued his steady play into the second set, breaking Safin in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead, before cruising to a 6-3 victory.



Singles: No. 1 Andy Roddick, No. 6 Benjamin Becker, Ivo Karlovic

Doubles: No. 4 Chris Haggard-Rainer Schuettler


» No. 6 Benjamin Becker vs. Ivo Karlovic, 1 p.m.

» No. 1 Andy Roddick vs. Andy Murray-Hyung-Taik Lee winner, 7 p.m.


» Championship, 3 p.m.

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Will Reisman

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