Ljubicic to call it a day in Monte Carlo
Originally published on: 08/03/12 09:57
Ivan Ljubicic has confirmed that he will retire from the ATP Tour after competing at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April.
The 32-year-old Croat, who lives in Monte Carlo and will be 33 by the time he hangs up his racket after this year’s Masters 1000 event, brings the curtain down on a 14-year professional career that saw him reach a career-high No.3 in the world, in 2006, and collect over $10million in prize money.
Ljubicic won the Davis Cup for Croatia in 2005, in what he considers to be his greatest achievement, and also teamed with Mario Ancic to win bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Though he’ll be absent from Indian Wells this week, the 10-time ATP titlist achieved some of his greatest tour moments in the Californian desert. Already a three-time quarter-finalist, the 6’4” right-hander won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open two years ago. He defeated Novak Djokovic in the fourth round and played “the best tie-break of my life” in beating Rafael Nadal 7-6(1) in the deciding set in the semi-finals before edging an in-form Andy Roddick in two tie-break sets in the final.
A wise head on tour, Ljubicic – who admitted to us last year that he is a “bit of a racket geek” – was also part of the ATP Player Council from 2002 to 2008 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008 before resigning the position in January 2009 to give the tour his full attention.
Currently ranked at No.40 in the world having won just three of his eight tour matches this year, Ljubicic also has two young kids to think of – Leonard, 3, and Zara, three months – but he plans to continue his involvement in the game.
“It’s never an easy decision for any professional athlete to retire,” said Ljubicic. “I look forward to the next stage of my life. Tennis has given me so much and I want to continue to stay involved and contribute in some ways.”