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March 30, 2007

Ivan Ljubicic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is your feeling just now after this match?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I'm of course disappointed. I think I had a lot of chances and I was not lucky to convert. One statistic shows all, and that's breakpoint conversion, two out of two for him, and zero out of seven for me. I think that shows everything. The first set I lost I think five points in my serve and the whole set I lost a serve.
I think I was a little bit unlucky there. He was very solid. On these windy conditions, it's difficult to play against him.

Q. Are you doubting the machine?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I think that's what I mean, the doubting, of course. I know the machine is not perfect, but if it shows that it's good, I know the umpire's going to go with the machine, like human eye sometimes can be wrong. I don't know, I was 100% sure that the ball was wide, but apparently not.

Q. Why is it so difficult to play against him especially?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, it's not him. About these kind of players. He's just pushing the ball in the middle of the court, and you have to do everything. When it's windy like this, it's not easy to go for the big shots. And I think these conditions here suits his game perfectly.

Q. I understand you've been a very strong voice on the Players Council and the proposal on wildcards for players coming back from suspension?

Q. I imagine that Guillermo probably doesn't feel the same way. Is there any bad feeling between the two of you because of that?
IVAN LJUBICIC: We never talked about it.

Q. Can you tell us why you feel so strongly about that proposal?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Because I feel like giving the wildcards to the guys coming off doping offense, means helping them to come back, which I don't feel right. The guys were cheating on us, and I don't think we should help them to come back, simple as that.

Q. Do you not feel like it's just another penalty after they've already served their penalty?
IVAN LJUBICIC: It's not the penalty, it's just showing they're not going to be helped to come back. I mean, we had actually long discussions about it, and one of our board of representatives actually says it's like a guy coming out of jail, and you are penalizing him even further. That's exactly what you said. But I feel like it's like -- I don't know. The guy coming out of prison, and you're just giving him a gun straightaway.
There are mixed feelings. It doesn't mean that naturally it's going to pass, of course. But all Council members voted for that. Everybody feels the same me, and we'll see how it's going to go.

Q. On another union matter, can you tell -- explain what the players' position is on the Hamburg tournament? There was a lawsuit filed by the German Federation against the ATP.
IVAN LJUBICIC: I don't know what everybody's feeling. I can tell you that I understand them. They had a great event for -- a great tradition for over 100 years and I know that they feel bad. But I also understand that the ATP is trying to improve our sport, and Hamburg, it is unfortunately one of those tournaments who are paying the price, and I think they are right to go for it.

Q. Have you canvassed the other players about this at all? Can you say anything about that?
IVAN LJUBICIC: It's pretty simple. Guys who likes to play on clay, they like to see Hamburg as a Master Series. It's very simple.

Q. You seem to fade more dramatically at this level in a Master Series tournament. Is this just an emotional issue? Do you just say it's so windy, the guy's playing solid, I blew my chances, that's it?
IVAN LJUBICIC: You think that's how it goes?

Q. Yeah, I thought so, yeah.
IVAN LJUBICIC: Okay, well?

Q. Is that inaccurate? You didn't feel that way?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, I knew that I have to go for my shots. Against Cañas, I'm not going to go three meters back and push the ball back and fight like a dog and lose 2-2, you know. I think I have to play my tennis. It's -- for me it's not looking good, for me it's trying to win a match. And if it's not going well, I mean, what can you do.

Q. How much, if at all, did the crowd affect your concentration?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, it does affect, it's not pleasant, of course, playing in the United States, and you have Argentinian -- like half of the crowd Argentinian cheering like in Davis Cup. It's not pleasant, but I'm used to it. I played in Davis Cup, and in Argentina, actually, and I know how it feels. It's just that, of course, I would prefer to have an even crowd or something different than this.

Q. What's the difference though between Ivan Ljubicic that goes on to beat the U.S. single-handed in Davis Cup and a guy who goes out here and gets discouraged?
IVAN LJUBICIC: And plays the semifinal. I mean, I think that's a good result. I mean, I don't think semifinal is a bad result at all.
I beat some great players on the way, and I played quarters in Indian Wells, same as here. That's a pretty good result. To stay on top of my game all the time is not so easy.

Q. Do you think he will beat Djokovic in the final?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I mean, I learned in my experience not to express my opinions on the final (laughing). I've had some really bad experiences with that, so I like to shut up actually with that one.

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