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March 19, 2009

Ivan Ljubicic


A. MURRAY/I. Ljubicic
7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk through the bad luck start? Can you talk through the challenge business and why you were upset?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Oh, because I was right. I mean, the ball was clearly out, and the operator showed a second bounce instead of the first. You know, it's just human mistake, and that's -- it's frustrating, when you see such a clear mistake.
You know, the thing is that we really wanted to take control of the human error with that machine, and then again you have a human error of the operator who is controlling that machine.
So it's weird. I mean strange situation.

Q. I've never known that before, have you?
IVAN LJUBICIC: No, it's the first time. What a moment, I mean, it was 4-All, break point. I couldn't win that point by smashing the ball, calling it myself, leaving the umpire to call it. I mean, really, the options to lose that point were none after that ball bounced.
But I guess, you know, my colleagues in the locker room now will learn from this. After the first bounce just take the ball, because you don't want to give them any chance to make the mistake.

Q. Are you thinking about a little bit more serious steps about this, how would you proceed about this?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I don't know. It's hard to say now, but it's always been frustrating when you lose the serve because of the mistake. I would say you can't even, you know, file a lawsuit against the umpire when he makes mistakes.
That's kind of the same situation. So it is frustrating, but what can we do?

Q. The point was replayed, right?
IVAN LJUBICIC: The point was replayed. I lost the point. But you could see that I made the first serve. I just kept thinking about it. I couldn't believe what was happening, you know.
After the experience yesterday I thought, Okay, at least I have center court, you so, you know, I have Hawk-Eye so I'm safe, and this happened. It's unreal.

Q. Why would Andy Murray even challenge that?
IVAN LJUBICIC: I asked him, Why did you challenge? He said, Well, I saw you, you know, hesitating, if you want to call it or smash it. He was completely on the other side. It's just like, whatever, it's break point down. I would maybe try, as well. He said, You have nothing to lose.
The guys in the locker room do think that the machine is not perfect, so you just go for it. I mean, it's not, you know -- I can't blame him challenging it. It was, you know, like, I don't know, a foot wide. It wasn't a meter wide. But still, you know, you just give a try. Why not?
In fact, the game after when I hit a backhand winner, he challenged it because he knew, you know, that the mistake is possible and the ball was clearly in.

Q. In the second set tiebreak, do you think the way he served made the big difference?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I said yesterday before, I mean, I think he's improved his serve a lot. Yes, I mean, he served -- on 5-4 for me I was not able to put ball in play. That was probably the most important moment of the tiebreak. I felt like I was, you know, I had chances if the rally would begin.
But 5-4, he served two big serves and I was not able to put the ball in play, he used that. And he did on 6-All. So again great serve on 7-6. I managed to put the ball back, but he just controlled it all the way.

Q. I know it's always difficult to talk about the money, but it did cost you money at this point, you know? Can you talk about that? And, as well, how does it equal with stopping in a way when you were raising up right now at this point in your career, going up, and then this happens?
IVAN LJUBICIC: Oh, as I said before, it's just -- you know, I never think about that way, you know, how much money did I lost because I didn't win this match. I felt like I was playing great tennis. In fact, I think I did today.
Maybe my serve wasn't at the top of my game, but, still, it was a great match. To have this opportunity to gain a lot of points and climb the rankings, it was great opportunity for me.
How do I go on from this? I mean, just the way I always did in my life, you know, just step back now, and then tomorrow it's a new day. Practice and get ready for Miami. Miami is new chance. I had first round last year. I have nothing to defend. I see that as a fantastic chance to make some points.

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