home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 14, 2006

Ivan Ljubicic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Before talking about the match, can you tell us exactly what the problem with your blood and everything, the physical problem you had.
IVAN LJUBICIC: The whole history?

Q. No, no...
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I mean now, from Madrid now?

Q. Yeah, exactly what happened to you.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yes. I came to Madrid from Vienna on that Monday. I mean, I don't know the dates now, but Monday of Madrid. I felt -- I was practicing afternoon with James Blake. I felt little fever. Came back from practice, measured the fever. It was a little high, 37.3, 4. I mean, was nothing bad, but little high. Then during the night it went really up so I didn't sleep at all.
Tuesday I came back, see the doctor. He said, Listen, we can go antibiotics, but, you know, you play tomorrow, maybe it's better to wait and see if it gets any better. Then we were going with aspirin and Vitamin C, just normal stuff. Was not getting any better.
On Wednesday before the match, fever was 38.6. Was pretty high. I tried also with some - what is it - (indiscernible). I take some, you know, just tried to put down the fever.
Well, you know, just before walking on the court was good, but that was not natural, you know, a body that recovered. I played with a fever, obviously, and I completely destroyed my body. I mean, Immunity system was completely down.
I started to take antibiotics after the match. I stayed in Madrid for two days just to see that how it's gonna go. On Friday I went back to Monte-Carlo, and after three days of antibiotics I didn't felt any better.
So Friday night I called my doctor that is here. I said, I don't feel any better after three days of antibiotics, I think is something wrong. So, you know, I want to see you. And he's in Montecatini in Italy, four hours' drive. He said, I'm gonna send my driver tomorrow morning to pick you up. But that night was horrible. I woke up, my eyes were completely closed, I couldn't see, then body was completely red.
Apparently, was allergic reaction to antibiotics. So I went back to Italy straightaway and in a hospital. Was there for the day. Then a doctor hospital, I mean his house for two weeks. I didn't do anything for two weeks. Didn't go out of the house. Because when the immunity system is that low, then whatever comes, you pick it up and you get any kind of virus. I was really afraid that I'm gonna get any -- something bad.
So I get back to Monte-Carlo. While I was doing the blood test every two days to see how my body reacts, and was not good. The blood was poor (indiscernible), you know, and didn't recovering at all. Was getting better, you know, but was not good enough. Nothing like I couldn't even go out of the room.
So that third week, that week of Bercy - yes, the week of Bercy - my health was improving, but then at one moment stopped. Was not improving. Like for three, four days was not getting any better. So I was afraid, you know, little bit what was going on. Then again started to go down.
I said, Okay, now I'm going to go to Shanghai. I didn't practice nothing before Shanghai, before coming here.
On Wednesday I had the first practice. That was I think exactly three weeks that I didn't do absolutely anything. I walked for 45 minutes. That was the only thing I did in three weeks. And, well, I had four days to get ready. Of course first match I was, like I said to the guys, after three games, I was dead. Like three games, not...

Q. Not three sets.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Not three sets.
But, you know, that match definitely helped my body start to react like, Okay, now we doing something. And I did a blood test before the match and after the match, and it was actually better after the match. So I was finally, you know, happy that nothing was going wrong any more.
And, well, here I am. Really tired, but in good healthy, and very, very happy.

Q. Thanks for the story.
IVAN LJUBICIC: You're welcome.

Q. Ivan, so last match with Andy it took you three games. Today, three sets to get the job done.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, no. Like, physically, I had no problem at all. Like really. The whole match was exactly the same. I felt the first point like I felt the last point. I felt really good.

Q. So how special is the matches for you?
IVAN LJUBICIC: It's, without oversaying anything, it's favorite victory in my life - honestly. Because what everything what I went through in these three weeks, it's hard to explain with words.
So to come here and then to be competitive and to win a match in this horrible group that I'm finding myself in, it's fantastic feeling. Like it's hard for me, I'm never good in explaining how I feel, but it's really very emotional.

Q. I guess you've got to tune your attention fairly quickly to your next task, which is obviously Roger.
IVAN LJUBICIC: It's not getting any easier, isn't it?

Q. You'll have to win that to get into the semis essentially.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yes. Well, maybe. But definitely I need a win, I mean. But really, today I'm gonna really enjoy this victory and probably good part of tomorrow, and then I'm gonna start thinking about Roger. There's nothing new about Roger. I mean, it's pretty simple. He is the best player in the world, probably ever played.
I'm gonna just enjoy and play my tennis really. If I play the way I played today and I lose in two sets I'm gonna be happy, because I came here to play and I won a match. So, you know, really, really doesn't matter. Of course I want to win, but I'm gonna be completely relaxed out there.

Q. What sort of confidence, though, does that performance out there give you? I mean, are you really confident given the way you -- as confident as you can be against Roger?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yeah, it's always good to win a match, you know. But to feel confidence, I just needed to play the way I played today. I think I played good match. Even if I was down 7-5, 5-4 serve, you know, I felt like I was playing good tennis. Just ball here and there, maybe my serve let me down a little bit in the end of the first, beginning of the second. But I felt like my game, it's almost there. It was not really missing too much. So, you know, I was just, you know, just fighting, fighting, fighting, and I got it back, you know.
I think David also struggled a little bit because it was real exhausting match. In the end, you know, just few balls here and there decide the match.

Q. Just a little question. You had 30 aces in the game. Do you remember your record of the ace in three-set game?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yeah, I don't remember, but I had more than 30. But, well, it's obviously great serving match. I mean, it's absolutely fantastic. But I think I had maybe 30-something. I don't know.
But, I mean, again, it's fantastic, especially because I was not serving well in the whole match. I remember like halfway on the second set was less than 50%, which is not good. But then I really started to serve great, and that's what kept me alive, you know. When you make so many easy points with the serve, of course it's also physically easier to stay in the match. You don't have to run too much.

Q. The court this year is different, or it suits your game better? Do you find differences or what?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, it is different. There's no question about it. I think it's quite fast. But, you know, for me, the only thing that it's really important, there is a roof over my head. This is what's important for me. How fast is it doesn't really matter. I like actually slower courts, so I can play more, you know. I always say that good serve, it's a good serve. But if the court is slower, then I can play a little bit more, which I like.
So I think the court, to answer your question, it is different. And I think, well, yes, it suits my game a little better.

Q. Talking about David Nalbandian, you lost to him last year in Shanghai, but for today's match, it's kind of revenge. This year you just won the last two matches against him in Miami and in Davis Cup. So do you think you have to wait to defeat Nalbandian?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, in Miami and Davis Cup I played much better than today, and since that I played probably my best tennis ever. I was playing really great. Talking about aces, I think in Zagreb in three sets I had over 30 - easily over 30 aces.
So I don't think I have something special to beat David, you know. But when you serve 30 aces, it's definitely hard time for him, you know? I think I was pretty aggressive off the baseline, as much as I could.
It is revenge. It's sweet revenge from last year, because last year I lost 6-2, 6-2. Really, he destroyed me, absolutely.
I mean, it's nice to come back in the same court 12 months after, and, you know, to give him revenge. Honestly, I hope that we gonna have another match next year. It means that we are both here (smiling).

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297