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November 12, 2006

Ivan Ljubicic


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ivan, please.

Q. What's your comment on your own serves today? Roddick actually aced three serves in the first set, and then in the second set, too. Did you feel the pressure?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I felt the pressure, yes. But also I think I was serving better and better as the match was going on. I needed some time to get feel on the ball, of course, because I didn't practice for three weeks at all. First time I had a hit, it was actually here on Wednesday after Madrid. So after three weeks really not able to do anything, I'm satisfied that not only my serve but all my game was a decent level after all.

Q. The third set was not so tight and close as the first two. Is this because Andy raised his level, or you feel little tired or anything?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, after 2-1 in the first set, I was dead completely. This is how much energy I had, actually. And everything after that, I just used all my experience and tricks to stay in the game. I couldn't move, I couldn't run, I couldn't use my legs on the serve, I couldn't return.
So, again, you know, I was in a bed for 17 days. You know, for me, just to come here and be able to pull out this kind of performance without practicing at all for three weeks is just great. You know, I just knew that, you know, I was just hoping how long I can hold.
You know, in the third set I had some chances in the beginning to maybe break him, but after that, when I lost the serve, I was all over the place.

Q. When you won the second set tiebreak, did you feel like you had a shot then?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yes. End of second set and beginning of the third was probably the only period of the match where I had some chances on his serve. I was putting the racquet on the ball a little bit. I was trying to read his serve, which is not easy. But that was the only period when I had some chances. You know, unfortunately, again, I was not able to break him.
But I think if I did break him in beginning of the third, the match could go either way in the end because even that I had no energy, if I kept serving well, you never know what it would happen.
But, you know, I think he's too good player that, you know, I can get away just like that.

Q. Last year in Shanghai you played against Roger Federer, and he has a large number of fans here in Shanghai. This year, the situation was the same with Andy Roddick. Do you feel very difficult for you to play to the fan favorites?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Of course, it's difficult to play the best players in the world, you know. The fans, of course they choose their players that they like. Andy and Roger and few others are great stars of the sport, and of course they're gonna have fans to support them. There's nothing wrong with that.

Q. Do you think Andy's net play gave you some problem in the whole match?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I mean, I think he was volleying extremely well. He was covering the net very good, and he barely missed any volleys, which is great I think for him. Usually he's struggling with his volleys. But this time he was really good.
So, you know, he's big physically. He's moving well at the net. It's really hard to get the ball past him. Every time when he had the racquet on the ball, he was pretty good at the net, yes.

Q. This is your first time to play with Andy this year. Last year you defeat him for two occasions.

Q. Do you think he's a little bit different player, especially under the guidance of Jimmy Connors?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, the difference that I can see since I played him last time is that obviously he's going at the net much more now that he was doing before. Before he was obviously trying to make a lot of points with the serve, and then otherwise if he was not able to do that, he was looking for some big forehands. That was about it.
Now he's coming at the net a lot more. I don't know if that's Connors' idea or his, but that doesn't matter. He is little bit different player that he was last year.

Q. Andy used the HawkEye challenge in the second set. He seemed to be a little bit annoyed about the call. Do you think it is fair?
IVAN LJUBICIC: He was not annoyed with the call. He was annoyed that umpire thought that he had no chance to get to the ball. So basically what happened that I served the ball, the ball was on the line, they call it out. So the rule is if he puts the racquet on the ball, we have to replay the point. If he doesn't touch it, it's an ace, so it's a point for me.
He was saying that he let the ball go because he heard the call. You know, it's up to the umpire to make that call. The umpire said, 'I think that you couldn't touch it,' so that was the problem, not about replay.
I don't think anybody argues the accuracy of the HawkEye. I think it's perfect.

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