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August 29, 2003

Ivan Ljubicic

NEW YORK CITY, A. RODDICK/I. Ljubicic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6

MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a tough match. Do you feel like you could have come out with a better result?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I think that anywhere in the world, except in the United States, if we played this match I won it.

Q. You feel --

IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I feel I don't. That's my opinion.

Q. Do you hold the umpire responsible?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Umpires, crowd. He's acting on the court and stuff like that.

Q. What did he do that you didn't like?

IVAN LJUBICIC: I mean, generally, I don't like him. I mean, not me, nobody in the locker room like his acting on the court. But that's not -- I mean, he's a good player. He's gonna win a lot of matches, but not because he's like that. It's just that we don't like it. Because nobody acts like that. He's the only one.

Q. He's in your face, isn't he?

IVAN LJUBICIC: It's -- he's just -- he doesn't respect the others, that's all what I can say. You know, it's not in your face or it's not in your face, doesn't matter. It's just that it's not -- well, some other player's going in your face and you understand that they just want to win a match. But what he's doing is just pumping up the crowd, which is, in the United States he can do it. But everywhere else, if he does it, the people smiled, you know. Just like that. Fortunately for him, there is like 70 percent of the big tournaments are playing in the States. He's No. 4 in the world for that.

Q. That's, obviously, very unfair for you?

IVAN LJUBICIC: I'm not looking at that. I'm just telling you the feeling of the guys in the locker room. Me, personally, I don't mind, really. I'm not looking at him when he's doing it.

Q. It affected the outcome of the match today?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, it affected the linesmen, it affect the crowd. It affected everyone else except me. It's enough usually. In the match like this, that's what it's make the change.

Q. Did you say anything to him at the end?

IVAN LJUBICIC: No. I said, again, I have nothing against him. I'm just saying that that's my opinion. He can do it. I can do whatever I want also on the court. It's just the way he does it. I mean, it's opinion of the players. I'm saying. It's -- some players are also trying to make you mad on the court. They're trying to tell you bad words, you know, just to try to take your mind away from the game, which is also part of the game, obviously, you know. In the end, we still shake the hands and there is nothing to say about it. We try everything what we can to win a match.

Q. When you say it affects the linesman, do you mean particularly at 7-6, breakpoint in the fourth set?

IVAN LJUBICIC: That was the crucial point, obviously. I am expecting some bad calls. But, you know, it hurts when it happens in the crucial moment like that. You know, if he hits the forehand and before the ball bounce on the ground, he said, "Yes," for the linesman, it's really difficult to call that ball, you know. Obviously, the chair umpire is on the far side of the line. He's not gonna call it for sure.

Q. You think he has that much influence on the linesman?

IVAN LJUBICIC: For sure. Not only him.

Q. When you say the other players feel this, have people said anything to him in the locker room about it?

IVAN LJUBICIC: No. It's just that every single player said to me, "Good luck. Kick his ass. We can't see him," things like that.

Q. Is there anything that can be done about it?

IVAN LJUBICIC: No. There's nothing to be done about it. I am telling you, in the past I'm sure there were lot worst players than him. It's part of the game. It's just that we don't like it. There's nothing to do about it. It's not like we don't like it so we have to change it. No, it's him. We don't like him, but who cares.

Q. There's nothing that can be done with the US Open or anywhere?

IVAN LJUBICIC: No. I'm telling you, it's a part of the game. It's not like it's breaking some rules or something. It's just that people don't like it. I mean, if you -- I don't know, you don't like Dunkin' Doughnuts, you have to do something about it? No, you don't like it. Just don't go there. That's it.

Q. Do you think it goes against the spirit of how the game should be played?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, obviously, it's -- I'm repeating. He's the only one who is doing it. Obviously, there is something not wrong, but something different. Maybe its good for the game. I'm not saying that it's bad. For sure, we need some -- something different in a game. Because, obviously, we need some interesting guys out there, you know. But you can be interesting also in the positive way.

Q. But it's not very sporting, is it?

IVAN LJUBICIC: I mean... That's -- I mean, in the end, he won. Well done. Doesn't matter what he did to do it - in the end. Obviously, if he gets the warning, if he gets the penalty point, he gets kicked out of the court because of that, I mean, we can discuss it. But it's nothing out of the rules.

Q. Is it like playing a big football match, playing a big football team at home, and you can expect they're gonna get their...

IVAN LJUBICIC: Yeah, something like that, yeah.

Q. You fell on the ground on the 7-6 point to express your feelings, but you really didn't say anything to the umpire.

IVAN LJUBICIC: What can I say? If he's gonna change it, he's gonna change it straight away. If he's not changing it in the next one, two seconds, you can talk all night. He's not gonna change it. Doesn't make any sense to lose the energy for that.

Q. How well would you say you executed your game plan tonight?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I started pretty bad. Just I think those -- I played two bad games, which is the break in the first and in the third. Except that, I'm satisfied how I played, and maybe I could use my serve little better in the first set. But generally, looking, I still had the chance to win the fourth and to go on maybe to win whole match. So I really can't say that I'm not satisfied with my game. Obviously, it's not enough. You know, you cannot be happy because you lost. You can be satisfied with the game, maybe. But you always feel that you could do something, something more.

End of FastScripts….

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