March 27, 2001
MIAMI, FLORIDA, I. LJUBICIC/C. Moya 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ivan.
Q. Have you now replaced Goran as the new Croatian sensation?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Oh, I'm not sensation. I don't think I'm sensation really. I am No. 1 in Croatia, but I don't think I'm sensation. I was out from quallies if you don't remember, so nothing special about that.
Q. Are you going to give part of your money to Richard Krajicek?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, we were kidding. I said to his coach, "You get percentage." But, no, I mean that's part of the game. I play semifinal in Sydney last year, same as lucky loser. Sometimes you have to take your chances. Sometimes it's even easier to play when you're lucky because you don't have nothing to lose. I have already my reservation for my flight to Croatia. Now I'm in quarterfinals, so you just have to take one-by-one, you know.
Q. What is the biggest pay day you've had thus far in your professional career?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Biggest check that I get?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Was in Monte Carlo two years ago.
Q. How much?
IVAN LJUBICIC: It was $25,000 I think.
Q. You're over twice as much as that now.
IVAN LJUBICIC: I know, but it had to happen one day, I think. So...
Q. Are you already planning what to do with your money?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No. Just -- do I have to do something? No plans.
Q. It's your money.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Is no plans, no plans. I am only 22, so I'm gonna save it.
Q. What was the difference from the Ljubicic who lost in the quallies and the Ljubicic who beat Moya tonight?
IVAN LJUBICIC: It was really different. I mean, you know, is different kind of pressure that you have in quallies and in major. In Indian Wells, I was playing great, I beat Bastl 3-2, I had two matchpoints against Mamiit in last round. I was playing good, then I lost to Mamiit 6-love in the third. Then I came here again playing real well, really I was expecting good things. Then I lost in quallies again. I was really sad, you know. Now, it's still, I don't think I was playing bad in quallies, but the problem is when I lost to Diaz was so windy that day that I really couldn't serve and couldn't do anything, you know, it was just different sport actually. You know, so you can lose to anybody in that conditions. So but this is normal conditions. With this conditions I can play my game, you know. I can lose but I can also win as I did.
Q. Six matches in nine days. Are you getting tired?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I'm not tired. I'm fit. I played a lot of tiebreakers. I had a terrible record actually in the end of last year and beginning of this year with the tiebreakers. But now I'm -- I think improving my record now. So I'm especially happy about that.
Q. Last year you had some good results, but you went down 20 places in the ranking, something like that. How would you describe that?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, you know, not -- I played bad clay last year. I won only one match in Munich before Wimbledon. Then I played semis in Bastad. Then I start to play well again on clay, then I played third round in Kitzbuhel and second round in Umag. You know, it was too late. I had like big hole after I played first round here and then all first rounds, never qualified in the Masters Series. That's why I dropped a little bit. And I didn't step back to play challengers so that's my problem, my ranking dropped. I was 91 at the end of the year on ESP, but I still was 74 in the Race. That means that I played a lot big tournaments. I didn't want to step back. That's what I'm going to do this year, too. Doesn't matter because if I want to go Top 50, Top 30 I have to play big tournaments.
Q. Was Goran an idol of yours when you were a teenager?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I had a lot of idols actually when I was teenager. Agassi's one of them, Todd Martin's one of them that I beat him already. Pete Sampras is still my idol. Goran was, of course. But by the time when you becoming his friend, it's little disappearing that feeling. But I'm still learning a lot from him, you know.
Q. Why Todd Martin?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Why? I don't know why, I just like his game, you know, how he was playing, yeah, he was pretty cool guy. I like him.
Q. Have you faced Andre before?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I never hit the balls with Andre, even in practice.
Q. So what is the feeling when you have to play him?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, what I have to do, we have the same haircut. That's something that we have in common, I think. That's all. (Laughter.)
Q. How much a better player are you now than when you beat Kafelnikov in Monte Carlo?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Oh, it's different, you know. The matches that I'm winning now, it's really that I'm winning the matches. I didn't beat Kafelnikov. Actually, he lost that match. I didn't beat him; he was hitting everywhere but not in the court. It was less than one-hour match. Was 6-1, 6-2, was pretty bad. That was my first Top 10 win. But I think one of the biggest wins that year was I beat Philippoussis in Singapore in tiebreaker of the third. That's a little bit different. When you beat someone 6-2, 6-2, it can be good match. If I beat Kafelnikov now 6-2, 6-2 in one of those big tournaments, I can say that that's big result. Of course that was the biggest win, maybe it's biggest win so far for me. But it wasn't really my win. He lost actually that match.
Q. What are you doing better now?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I think I'm more professional. I was kind of junior still. I mean, I was 19 and 20, you understand what I mean. It was just different how I'm approaching my profession now, you know, and I'm understanding the game more now and trying to understand the game, the opponents that I'm playing now. It's just, I think the biggest difference is that I'm really more professional now.
Q. Where are you training?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Where, I'm in Monte Carlo in ATP camp with my coach Riccardo Piatti already four years.
Q. You're an IMG guy?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I'm SFX.
Q. You used to be IMG?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I never been that. I was -- when I played final in Wimbledon Juniors, I had contacts with IMG, but I signed ProServe. That was ProServe at that time.
Q. I was wondering if that's what got you the wildcard into Scottsdale?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I never got the wildcard in Scottsdale. Never played that.
Q. Ivan, did you ever play Orange Bowl here?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I did. I won it here actually, then I played Orange Bowl. I won doubles under 16 but singles I think I lost Round of 16 or something. I didn't play well in Orange Bowl.
Q. Do you remember who you lost to?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Gregorts (ph.) Slovenian guy. Terrible match.
End of FastScripts....