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19992000 - March 24, 2015
These days, the Israeli is almost exclusively portrayed as Goliath, next to his opponent portrayed as David.
How’s this for a change.
Ivo Karlovic began his title defence Thursday at the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota with a 7-6(8), 7-6(5) win over Dudi Sela, and afterwards received an unexpected hug from his opponent.
Instead of going straight to the net for the customary handshake after the one hour, 40-minute contest, the 5’9” Sela instead took a detour to the side of the court.
“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,” said Karlovic. “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.
“He’s a really nice guy and I like him a lot. It was funny.”
Sela, who lost to the 6’11” Croat for a second straight week and sixth time overall in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, was pleased with his effort in the match and called it an opportune time to give Karlovic a hug on court.
“I played five times with him and today I didn’t play bad,” he explained. “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 okay with the loss. I played okay, he played better than me in the big points so I said it’s going to be okay 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 okay.”
He added, “I felt good with myself. Suddenly I felt 211 [cm] like him… I think I was [still] shorter than him. It was funny.”