MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The top seed in the Memphis Open Tennis Tournament made his first appearance tonight at the Racquet Club.
Croatian Ivo Karlovic, a giant of a player at 6'11", took Stadium Court against challenger Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
At 38 years old, Karlovic is the oldest top seed to play in Memphis.
He's earned more than $8 million in his career.
But, Basilashvili isn't concerned with Karlovic's status.
Finishing among the world's top 100 players last season, the Georgian took Karlovic to task, winning the first set in a tie-breaker 7-6.
Basilashvili used a strong baseline game to pull off the upset of the tournament in straight sets, completely commanding the second set.
The scores were 7-6, 6-3.
"I think I had my plan before the match," Basilashvili said after the match. "And I executed this really well. I was really focused on important points, and did not let go of any chances."
Also on Stadium Court Thursday night, American Taylor Fritz, last year's runner up, took on Australian Matthew Ebden, who got into the main draw as a qualifier.
And the two were neck-in-neck for most of this match.
Ebden took the first set, but Fritz was not going down easily.
Fritz found his groove and won the second set.
But Ebden, with a strong showing in the third, got it done, winning in three sets.
The scores were 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Also In the books, Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukishin ends qualifier Darian King of Barbados' run in straight sets, 6-3. 6-0.
And in a battle of Americans, fourth seed Steve Johnson defeats Tim Smyczek 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Action continues through Sunday at the Racquet Club of Memphis.