(Reuters) - German Tommy Haas and Croatian Ivo Karlovic will make a stand for the senior citizens on the circuit when they face off in the oldest ATP match in terms of combined ages since 1982 at the Rome Masters on Tuesday.
The first round encounter will see the 39-year-old former world number two Haas, who has a protected ranking to enter the main draw of ATP events in his final season on the tour, against the 38-year-old Karlovic, who is currently ranked 22nd.
Chilean Luis Ayala (49) and Argentinian Ricardo Cano (30) were almost three years older when they met in the first round of the 1982 Chile Open, with the latter recording a 6-1 6-2 win.
Karlovic has beaten Haas in four of their six meetings, starting with another Rome Masters first round showdown in 2004. They last faced each other in the first round of the Rogers Cup eight years ago.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien