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November 16, 2006

Ivan Ljubicic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I'm from Argentina. If you let me, I wish to ask you for something that has not to do with the match specifically. This season you have played against Argentina for the Davis Cup. From that experience, what is your opinion about the final match between Argentina and Russia for Davis Cup?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I think without any wonder, David is the strongest part of the squad, of the team. There's no secret that it's gonna depend on him a lot, in which kind of shape he's gonna play, how he's gonna play. I think that's Argentina's only chance because, you know, other players are struggling this year - basically almost all of them - and I think Argentina need two points from David. That's not gonna be easy, obviously with Tursunov, Safin and Davydenko. It's not gonna be easy.
I think Russia is favorite, but I wouldn't put any money on Russia because it is open match.

Q. You broke Roger first in the first set. Was 2-Love lead. But you lose the tiebreak 6-7 at last. Do you think that this is very frustrating for you, that Roger can fight back with some mistakes you make, and then he will win the set finally so you lose the match?
IVAN LJUBICIC: And that's it, exactly. That was the question and the answer (smiling).
Well, I think he started little slow. He played some weak shots in the beginning. I took advantage. I broke him. But he's always asking me a lot, you know. I'm always pushed to the limits. I have always a lot of pressure on my serve. On my shots I always have to go for little bit more, and it's really hard to play like that the whole match.
And I think I played generally great match. My problem and bad luck is that we have pretty similar game. Every time when I raise the level, he raise the level, too, so I can't really never catch him.
But every time when I play against him, I always say the same thing: I enjoy playing against him because it really takes out of me the best that I have. I think I really played well. Of course, the serve was not great, but it's also because he's returning very well. That's why I always feel like I have to serve even better, and I am forcing a little bit too much. That's why my percentage was lower today than other days.

Q. Do you think it's fair that you should be going home when you've beaten David? He goes through, you go home, you have the same record.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, it's hard to say. I mean, it is weird that you see the guy who you beat and he's in the semifinal. But he deserved it. He beat Andy in two sets and he's through.
You know, I'm happy. I mean, I cannot say that I'm frustrated. I would love to be in the semifinal. I think I played great tennis this week. But, you know, I'm also happy for him because he had a rough, rough year, a lot of injuries. And, you know, playing the way he was playing today, I think he deserved the semifinal.

Q. You said it is weird. But is not even more weird that he has lost not only with you but two matches. So there is a player loses two matches and he goes to the semifinal. This is the form, the way the ATP wants to emphasize for next year in 13, 14 tournaments. What do you think about it?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I was never for Round Robin, but the problem -- the difference between ATP Round Robin and this Round Robin and the ATP was gonna have a group of three players. So this is not gonna happen.
I think that when we saw the draw, we saw the group, we know there is gonna be some fireworks. That's what happened, you know.
I think that this situation, I was I cannot say expecting but for me is not impossible. After I lost to Andy and I knew that I can beat Nalbandian, but I also said to Croatia journalists I said David was favorite against Andy, so I knew that was gonna decide the one who was gonna go to semifinal.

Q. Even in the Round Robin with three players, there could be three players tied with one win each. You have to calculate sets, games.
IVAN LJUBICIC: I agree. I agree. I'm not delighted with the project, not at all.
But, I mean, we'll see. Before you judge something, you have to test it. I'm always for testing. So let's see how it's gonna go, and then hopefully here next year we're gonna talk about it and see what we gonna decide.
I mean, we talking about Player Council, ATP and all Board representatives.

Q. Could you please sum up your experience this year in Shanghai. How confident you can come back for Shanghai for the third straight year next year?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Yes, it was great. It was definitely different than last year. Last year I was really emotional about it, excited because I made it just barely in the last second. This year I qualified much earlier, and I felt the whole year that I deserved a spot here, and I was really happy when I finally made it.
Unfortunately, I was little bit sick before coming here, so I was not able to prepare it properly, but I think I showed, again, high level of tennis. I hope that my next season is gonna be successful again. This year I was always saying in the press conferences that the moment I left Shanghai I was thinking about coming back, and this is gonna be the same thing next year.

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