Ljubicic hangs up his racket
Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic finally hung up his racket after his first-round exit at the Monte Carlo Masters.
It was not the farewell to the game Ljubicic, one of the most popular and respected figures on the tour, would have wanted - he was hammered 6-0 6-3 by young compatriot Ivan Dodig.
The Monte Carlo-based veteran, 33, had previously announced that the event in the principality would be his last hurrah in the sport.
"It was a tough day for me, on the court and off," said an emotional Ljubicic. "I had my mind everywhere else except on the tennis court. Obviously I'm completely out of shape. I don't even think it makes any sense to talk about the match today.
"I have to say that I felt like it could end up emotionally but I didn't expect these big emotions really. It's the end of something beautiful for me. It's been 20 years and now it's time to do something else."
Dodig said: "This is the first time that I'm not happy to have won the match. I'm happy and proud that I played against such a good player who made history, especially for the Croatian people and Croatian tennis. I'm happy that I played him in his last match, not because I won it."
Ljubicic, a former Player Council head and ATP board member in 2008-2009, could still find himself involved in the sport if he chooses to pursue the European seat on the ATP board which is due to become vacant later this year.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.