Ljubicic retires after Monte Carlo exit

Sun, 15 Apr 15:03:00 2012

Former world number three Ivan Ljubicic retired from professional tennis with a whimper after he lost 6-0 6-3 to Ivan Dodig in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

Ljubicic french open roland garros 2011 - 0

The 33-year-old Croatian, a Monaco resident, fell into his chair in tears after the defeat while the sparse crowd granted him a standing ovation.

He was gifted a special award from ATP boss Brad Drewett and tournament director Zeljko Franulovic during a post-match ceremony on court.

Ljubicic was overcome with emotion as a Roger Federer tribute and some of his career highlights, including victory at Indian Wells in 2010, were broadcast on the court's giant screen.

"I felt like it could end up emotional but I didn't expect it this big, this emotional. Obviously, it's the end of something beautiful for me," Ljubicic told a news conference.

"It was a tough day for me both on the court and off the court. I knew my mind was everywhere else but on the tennis court."

The famous bald-headed Ljubicic had announced he would play his last event at home in Monte Carlo.

"For me, it's a special place. In 1999, big tennis started here for me, qualifying, beating Andriy Medvedev and Yevgeni Kafelnikov," Ljubicic said.

"In a way, to wrap it up and finish off here... I think it was the right place to do that."

He never threatened the 59th-ranked Dodig, who put an end to his fellow countryman's 15 year-career in one hour 11 minutes.

"I think this is the first time that I'm not happy to win the match... All players like me, like Mario Ancic, we learnt from him," Dodig said.

Known for his ability to play on all surfaces, Ljubicic had his best year in 2005 when he reached two Masters series event finals and won the Davis Cup. He was ranked at three in 2006.

In the day's other first round action Viktor Troicki beat Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-3 6-1 and ninth seed Gilles Simon defeated wild card Benjamin Balleret 6-3 6-2.

Reuters

Comment 1 - 19 of 19

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  1. Shame for Ljubo, and tht one more from the old school­ had to leave the tennis.. he was attractive and unique­ stile to watch..

    From Igor K, on Mon 16 Apr 21:08
  2. All the best for the future Ivan!

    From Mark Bell, on Mon 16 Apr 16:16
  3. I remember his match against Dominic Hrbaty in the­ Davis Cup Final a few years ago. A great 5 setter­ between two players who were extremely passionate about­ playing for their countries. Ljubicic was amazing in­ Davis Cup that year and Hrbaty played the match of his­ life. One of the best matches I've ever seen that,­ unfortunately, was decided by a couple of duff line­ calls that went Hrbaty's way. Ljubicic still got to­ lift the cup in the end though.

    From Bobito, on Mon 16 Apr 8:14
  4. Well done Ivan Ljubicic, it's been brilliant to­ watch you play. You've been a very dangerous­ opponent, even for the big guns. Personally, I find the­ suggestion that he 'went out with a whimper'­ made by the Yahoo sportswriter an insult to those of us­ who love the royal game. I guess it's the lot of­ every true fighter in our era, where people think­ it's only about winning or losing: after a long­ career where you trained incessantly and punched way­ above your weight in competition, you get told by some­ snotty-nosed kid that you weren't performing in­ your last match. Absolutely unbelievable!!!! Please­ correct that line in an otherwise decent article.

    From , on Mon 16 Apr 7:55
  5. he was a good player with flashes of brilliance. It is­ indeed sad hes leaving but he will for sure enjoy an­ amazing life beyond tennis and im sure Monaco is indeed­ a place where one can live life king size ;-)

    From aaditya, on Mon 16 Apr 4:56
  6. Comment hidden due to spam. Show

    H_e_r_e____f_i_n_d___I_n_t_e_r_r_a_c_i_a_l___R_o_m_a_n_­ c_e___t_r_u_e___l_o_v_e______have _a___try.

    From Mixedmatching.c0m?date different races., on Mon 16 Apr 3:51
  7. All the best in life, Ljubicic! You have been a model­ of a gentleman player. Regards from a Belgrader.

    From lukson lukson, on Mon 16 Apr 0:42
  8. I will always miss that one hand back hand of his. All­ the best Ivan.

    From CeeJay, on Sun 15 Apr 22:10
  9. @ AUGUSTINE :Djokovic has 5 GS titles, not 4, and Nadal­ has 10, not 11.

    From BitterSweet, on Sun 15 Apr 21:00
  10. Congrats on your career Ivan, you were a joy to watch,­ best wishes!

    From RFederer-N-Pats*Fan*Grl, on Sun 15 Apr 20:30
  11. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Men's tennis is pathetic. Just seeing the ranking­ from no1 -3, hold over 30 Gran slam titles; Djokovic 4,­ Nadal 11, Federa 16, while from Murray 4 to no 10 ,­ not a single grand slam. What a dominance by these 3­ men. What Are the rest doing, just numbers; murray,­ Tosnga and the rest are just mere passengers.

    From AUGUSTINE, on Sun 15 Apr 19:46
  12. Shame to see Ivan retire, but at 33 I suppose it was­ expected. He was a good example for Croatian tennis,­ and a good role model for younger players such as Cilic­ and Dodig. I expect Karlovic will also call it a day­ shortly.

    From sarah37729, on Sun 15 Apr 17:58
  13. It's been known for a while now, but it's still­ a bit sad to say goodbye to Ivan. I've always liked­ his cool on court, no doubt keeping inside his passion­ and ambition, and his joy when succeeding, as he did in­ Indian Wells in 2010, his last GREAT tournament. I will­ miss his fine serve, his potent forehand and cunningly­ disguised one-handed bakchand, and of course his­ personality. You will be greatly missed, Ivan!­ You're one of a kind!

    From HsSimon, on Sun 15 Apr 17:00
  14. Shame to see Ljubicic retire,he has done so much for­ Croatian tennis but he hasn't been playing well­ this year probably due to lack of motivation and­ decided to retire.I hope he stays in tennis.Nice guy­ and a great tennis player and I will definitely miss­ watching him play.Now he will be able to spend more­ time with his lovely family.

    From Honey, on Sun 15 Apr 16:38
  15. Blake sort of did retire but back tracked,great for us­ as i love watching him play too...i know Ivan is 33 but­ i dont want him to retire,selfish i know

    From ROBERT, on Sun 15 Apr 16:34
  16. Ah Ivan I will miss you,you are and always will be one­ of the nicest players on tour,would have been fab to go­ out on a win but you will always be a winner in my­ heart X

    From ROBERT, on Sun 15 Apr 16:30
  17. We will miss you. Best of luck in your after-tennis­ endeavours.

    From JSE, on Sun 15 Apr 16:00
  18. I still think Ivan could have stayed on till the­ Olympics but Monaco is a special place to him to call­ it a day. All the players from the early to mid­ 2000's are retiring now. I expect Haas, maybe James­ Blake to call it a day soon.

    From Jason, on Sun 15 Apr 15:34
  19. Bravo MAJSTORE!

    From Francisco Gere, on Sun 15 Apr 15:22
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