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Ljubicic: Tennis is much stronger now

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Originally published on: 17/04/12 00:00

Ivan Ljubicic, who played the last match of his professional career in Monte Carlo this week, believes that men’s tennis is significantly stronger than when he started his career.

“It's definitely more physical,” the 33-year-old Croatian said. “Guys are moving way better. A lot of guys – most of the guys – have no weaknesses. It’s different. I remember coming up in the late 1990s.  Obviously back then we even had bonus points for beating top guys. I always wanted to play better-ranked guys because of the bonus points. Basically every one of them had a weak point, either his forehand or backhand, something, so you could focus on doing something specific in order to win matches even against top guys.

“But today people are asking me: ‘So what do you need to do to beat Djokovic?  What do you need to do to beat Murray?’ There is really no answer to that question. That gives you a little bit of an idea of how the guys are complete players and how professional they are about themselves. Everybody is physically ready. Everybody is technically perfect. I guess it's just a matter of the mental side that makes the difference at the end of the day.”

Ljubicic won 10 titles during his 16 years as a senior professional. The former world No.3 also led Croatia to victory in the Davis Cup and was on the player council of the Association of Tennis Professionals for six years, including two years as president. He was the first active player to serve on the ATP’s board for 16 years.

Asked what he would do next, Ljubicic said: “I have no idea. I'm going to take some time off. A lot of people already came to me and talked to me about ideas and projects, but I will see. I will just take some time. I would love to help this sport to be even better in some way. We'll see what that is. But I'm sure it's going to be something with tennis.”

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