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August 28, 2006

Ivan Ljubicic

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just never really looked like you got on track today. What was the difference in the match?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, there were a lot of differences I think today. I really never get playing. That's true. It's really hard for me to explain what happened. Obviously, if I had an explanation, I would try to do something differently. But was just not my day.

Q. Coming in the third seed, expectations I'm sure were high - higher than the first round.

IVAN LJUBICIC: They were really high. But when I saw the draw, I knew is gonna be tough. Of course, I didn't expect to lose this easy, but I had problems with him in the past, you know. In Australia was tough. In Wimbledon was close. I lost in last match. I knew was gonna be very difficult.

But he served extremely well. I never got to the breakpoint. He was returning my serves quite easily. It was really rough for me.

Q. How did you feel coming into this tournament? Did you feel confident?

IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I felt all right. I mean, I played third round in Canada, quarterfinal in Cincy. So definitely playing okay, good tennis.

Last week, all week practice, I felt really good. I mean, without any physical problems. Everything was all right. But, you know, today was just nothing was working.

Q. What made his serve so effective and what gave you trouble?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, everything: pace, precision, accuracy, lefty, everything. Today was just too good.

Q. How high do you think Lopez could go? Do you think he could be a top 10 player?


Q. Why?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I don't know. It's just that he's not consistent enough I think to be top 10. To build on the ranking, you have to do well almost on every surface, and not every week but, you know, very consistent basis.

I mean, he can if he focus on tennis full-time. But just seems like that's not the case.

Q. Just seems like he's really tough to play. It's hard to just get him into a rally.

IVAN LJUBICIC: He's definitely tough to play. I mean, he's slicing his backhand, keeping the ball low. You can't really swing. His forehand is pretty good shot. So he's definitely, you know -- I mean, even I see the results that he's -- even when he lose the match, it's 6 and 6 or 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. It's always very difficult to face him.

It's just that I think lately he was not confident enough to make good results. But if he pick up from this victory and on, he can do well, definitely.

Q. You've talked recently about the fact that you're not as famous as your ranking might justify. Do you think it's because you're lacking that sort of one big run at a Grand Slam?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Could be. But this definitely is not gonna help (smiling). I don't know. I mean, definitely. The Grand Slams are the biggest events in tennis. That's not a question. You know, I play -- I did play quarters in Australia and semis at the French. But the feeling is -- my feeling is people look at the young players. If you do well when you're young, then you're much better-known than doing well later in your career.

But, I mean, I really don't mind. I mean, I think I was misquoted two weeks ago in Toronto. I just said that's what happened, but I don't mind at all because all these attention on me, I don't really like too much attention. Of course, you have to do your duties and everything what you have to do. But if it's too much, then it's not easy to handle.

Q. Do you think that you've underperformed in Slams compared to other tournaments?


Q. Do you think you've underperformed at Slams?

IVAN LJUBICIC: I think so, yes. Definitely.

Q. Why?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I don't know. If I know the 'why,' then I would work on it.

Q. Who's gonna win this thing, you think?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, Roger is big favorite. Everything else would be big surprise, I think.

End of FastScripts...

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