LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Croatia's 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic became the oldest ATP semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1993 by rallying past Australian Nick Kyrgios on Friday at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.
World number 88 Karlovic blasted 18 aces to defeat the 22-year-old Aussie fourth seed 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in 92 minutes, advancing to a Saturday matchup against US eighth seed Tennys Sandgren, who advanced to his first ATP semi-final by rallying past Argentina's Guido Pella, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Not since Connors reached the last four at San Francisco a quarter-century ago has so old a player reached an ATP last four.
Karlovic could become the oldest ATP finalist since Ken Rosewall won the 1977 Hong Kong title at age 43.
Karlovic, who wasn't broken after his first service game of the match, beat the 24th-ranked Aussie for the first time in five tries, having lost to Kyrgios at last year's Miami and Cincinnati Masters and in 2015 at Kuala Lumpur and the Australian Open.
****Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, 39 -- shown here at the Australian Open earlier this year -- is the oldest ATP semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors a quarter century ago