Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (Sports Network) - Ivan Ljubicic retired from
professional tennis Sunday following a first-round loss to Ivan Dodig at the
Monte-Carlo Masters, third Masters 1000 event of the year.
The Croatian was beaten by countryman Dodig 6-0, 6-3 on the red clay at the
famed Monte-Carlo Country Club, where the United States upset the host French
in a Davis Cup quarterfinal last week.
An emotional Ljubicic was honored in a short, post-match ceremony.
"I had the pleasure to play on this beautiful court again," said Ljubicic, who
is a resident in Monte-Carlo. "I chose this tournament to be my last and I'm
very happy that I made that decision."
During his 15 years on tour, Ljubicic went 10-14 in title matches. His best
result at a major as a semifinal showing at Roland Garros in 2006.
"I think this is the first time that I'm not happy that I won the match," said
Dodig. "I'm happy and proud that I played the match against such a good player
who made history, especially for Croatian people, Croatian tennis.
"He had always great advice, suggestions. I think I used every word [he said]
to become a better player and I have to thank him for this."
In other first-round action, ninth-seeded Gilles Simon beat Benjamin Balleret
6-3, 6-2 and Viktor Troicki defeated Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-3, 6-1.
The top seed here is world No. 1 star Novak Djokovic.
The great Rafael Nadal won an Open Era-record seventh consecutive title here
last year and is a staggering 39-1 lifetime in Monte-Carlo. Nadal topped David
Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish finale.
Nadal and fellow former No. 1 Roger Federer are the all-time leaders with 19
Masters titles apiece.
The 2012 Monte-Carlo champ will collect $603,000.
The Sports Network