It's been quite the 24 hours for tall tennis players. First, Maria Sharapova towered over Floyd Mayweather at the ESPYs. Then, Caroline Wozniacki bragged about being able wear heels now that she's no longer with Rory McIlroy, and now the tallest of them all, Ivo Karlovic, gets his moment.
The 6-foot-11 Croatian hit 16 aces on his way to a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5) over Dudi Sela to advance to the quarterfinals of the Colombia Open in Bogota on Thursday. As Sela walked to the net for the post-match handshake, he took a slight detour. The 5-foot-9 Sela grabbed a chair, dragged it to the net and used it to give Karlovic a hug. I guess the man wanted to look his vanquisher in the eye.
“After I won, I was going to the net to have a handshake and then I look at him and he’s going back to get a chair,” Karlovic said. “I didn’t know what he was going to do and then he arrives and he gives me a hug, which was unbelievable and hilarious. Obviously he needed a hug, so I hugged him back."
Here's another angle of the hug:
Sela joked he was still shorter than Karlovic even on the chair.
“I played five times with him and today I didn’t play bad,” he said. “It was one point here or there, it was 7-6, 7-6, so to finish like this I didn’t mind. Some matches you feel very upset after the loss; I was OK with the loss. I played OK. He played better than me in the big points, so I said it’s going to be OK and I accepted this.
“We’re good friends and I really like him. He’s a very nice guy. I always wanted to hug him, but I didn’t have the chance, and today I think was a good moment. I saw the chair, and I thought it would be nice to finish the match like this with a hug, so the crowd will see it’s OK.”