Ljubicic upset but spirit remains high
Originally published on: 02/02/12 09:51
Top seed and home favourite Ivan Ljubicic suffered a shock early exit in the second round of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors tournament, losing to Michael Berrer in straight sets.
Twice a runner-up at the indoor tournament and champion at the inaugural event in 2006, the world No.32 was broken three times by the German, a runner-up for the past two years, in a 6-4 6-4 defeat in an hour and 25 minutes.
“I played badly,” admitted Ljubicic. “It hurts much more losing at home, but the good thing with tennis is that you don’t have to wait long for another chance.”
The 32-year-old Monte Carlo resident will have to wait just a week for another shot in fact, with the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, an ATP 500 event, next on the calendar.
It’s been a slow start to the year for the 6’4” Croat, who lost his only other match in 2012 in five sets at the Australian Open, falling 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 to world No.119 Lukas Lacko.
That defeat came in spite of a positive 2011 for Ljubicic, who reached the fourth round at Roland Garros, where he was beaten by eventual champion Rafael Nadal, the third round at Wimbledon, where he fell to Andy Murray and made the final in Metz.
The AC Milan fan and father of two has 427 wins (to 291 defeats) to date in his career, and has picked up 10 career titles, the biggest of the lot coming in Indian Wells in 2010 when he defeated Andy Roddick for the Masters 1000 crown.
Even in spite of his setback at home, the Croat is confident of bouncing straight back, declaring on twitter that his “spirit and motivation [remain] high.”