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Archive for the ‘ivan ljubicic’ Category

Indian Wells: Delpo Ousts Defending Champion

Posted by gauloises1 on March 13, 2011

Can I get a HELL YEAH for what was (to my eyes) the best match that JMDP has played since his return to the tour? I can? Thank you ever so.

Juan Martin del Potro d. (14) Ivan Ljubicic, 57 64 62. HELL YEAH.

Behind Mardy Fish, that’s the highest-ranked opponent JMDP has beaten since his comeback, and he deserved it. I hear Ljubicic has a leg injury and wouldn’t have played Indian Wells were it not for the fact that he was the defending champion – but he really didn’t play a good match (excepting the third set). A couple of unforced errors in fact was all he needed to wedge open JMDP’s game and barge through for the first set.

JMDP needed to react, and he did; firstly by smashing a racquet, and secondly by immediately breaking serve at the beginning of the second set. It was good to see him demanding so much of himself and finding it, and once he had that advantage, he held on to it and refused to let it go, despite being in trouble in every subsequent service game. By the third set, he was flying. I’m not going to say he’s back to where he was, because he clearly isn’t. But he was recognisable today as the same player.

The trick of course will be to keep up this form for another match. He’ll play Alexandr Dolgopolov, after the Ukrainian beat Victor Hanescu 64 64.

As for Ljubicic, it seems harsh for the defending champion to exit in the second round, admittedly, and drawing JMDP was unlucky. But then, it was really nearly unlucky for JMDP to draw Ljubicic, so … condolences to Ljubicic and his fans. But I’m happy.

Get better soon, baldy.

Posted in indian wells, ivan ljubicic, juan martin del potro | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

It’s That Time Again.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 10, 2011

It might be because I’m a bitter, cynical, emotionally drained miserable shell of a facsimile of a sham of a human being, but I’m just not that interested in Indian Wells. It’s in the middle of a desert, I don’t get to go, and apart from that it’s your bog-standard Masters. And, like, Ivan Ljubicic won it last year. I’m just saying. Anyway, it’s started.

You can find the men’s draw here and the women’s draw here, I am mind-boggled by the complexity and can’t wait for someone to start televising the bloody thing (why is it only American Masters’ series events that aren’t televised from day one?) so I can have some opinions. So far the biggest news seems to be that Melanie Oudin has won a match, against Elena Vesnina no less.

Shit gets real later tonight when Delpo will play Steps in a tough first-round encounter for either of them. Full OOP here.

Posted in indian wells, ivan ljubicic, jelena jankovic, melanie oudin | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

The Mystery of Marin & Other 250 Tales.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 5, 2011

Marin didn’t exactly got his revenge on Florian Mayer today. Instead, he notched up his second straight-sets loss to the German in a year, 63 64. I watched, and it was dreadful.

Marin himself said that he made a lot of unforced errors and couldn’t find any rhythm, which is a pretty accurate summation. I’ve been making light and making fun of Marin’s downward spiral for a long time, but I may have just reached the end of my tether. I intend no disrespect to Mayer, who is an incredibly improved player over the last year and making himself dangerous to all sorts of people. But it was the same match that Marin has basically been playing for a year now and I have just had enough.

What is going on?! This is the man who has been tipped for the top since forever, because he’s always looked to be nothing but upside. This is the man who made the quarterfinals of the 2009 US Open by beating Murray, blasted Rafa off the court in Beijing, then went straight on to the semifinals of the Australian Open. He struggled his way through Zagreb afterwards through sheer willpower, and then … what? I don’t know. OK, so he’s had his moments – finals of Munich, semis in Washington, round of sixteen at Roland Garros – but that is the very least he should be accomplishing, and those moments should not be interspersed with losses to the likes of Andreas Seppi and Andreas Haider-Maurer. And I just don’t understand it. He hasn’t had any major injury problems that have been reported in the press, and it’s a fact that he didn’t forget how to serve, hit his forehand or approach the net. He just became unable to do any of them on a consistently successful basis, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Watch him these days and he’s a wreck of a player. Even when he’s winning, he’s still a bundle of nerves and errors being held together by sheer strength of will that’s always liable to shatter. The Marin of two years ago would have at least made a concerted effort to take it to Rafa in Melbourne. And the kind of errors he routinely made against Mayer were simple flinching at the moment of potential victory, like choking on a point-by-point level, and I just … don’t … understand … why!

Personal problems? Injuries or illnesses we don’t know about? Or he’s tired and burnt out after his first major semi-final, so he has a couple of random losses, and that combined with the unprecedented pressure combines to rock his confidence, and he feels like he can’t play freely, and it just gets worse and worse and worse and every time he thinks he’s getting out of it, he starts thinking too much and loses and it gets worse again?

I have literally been wondering about this for a year, and I’m fed up with it. I don’t care what it is any more. I just want him to stop it. Like, now. Because the way he’s going, he’s going to end up Joe McDisappointment and he is far too good for that. He should be a challenger. He should be a contender. He should be in the top ten. He’s good enough. I know he’s good enough. Honestly, I could just grab him and shake him and yell that into his face until he gets that through his divinely-moulded Croatian head.

…. But then, I know about twenty people who want to do the same thing to me. OK, they wouldn’t call my head ‘divinely-moulded’ – or Croatian, come to that – but the general gist would be the same. You’re good! You can do things! Believe! And frankly, it would just make me want to prove them wrong so they would leave me alone. And then I could go to bed. With a bottle of gin. And a pie. All right, I just talked myself out of being angry with Marin. I suppose I’ll just keep hanging on until he starts winning again, however long it takes. And in the meantime, if he wants to join me in bed with a bottle of gin and a pie, I suppose that would be OK as well.

Er … where was I?

Well done Florian Mayer.

There was a bit of a big-name exodus in Zagreb today in fact. Ivan Dodig took out compatriot Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets, and Richard Gasquet retired after seven games (being in the quarterfinals after Arnaud Clement retired against him).

So Michael Berrer is through to the semi-finals, along with Mayer, Dodig and Garcia-Lopez. Well done all round.

Johannesburg semi-finals, meanwhile, are mainly populated by people you’ve sort of heard of, but only sort of. Two locals, Kevin Anderson and Izak Van der Merwe, are through along with Adrian Mannarino, who’s a yummy Frenchman in a fey sort of way, and Somdev Devvarman, who beat another local, Rik de Vroest.

And in Santiago, Interior Minister-meeting defending champion Thomaz Bellucci lost to certified living Ken doll Fabio Fognini in a fairly thrilling three-set match. Fognini led 4-1 before Bellucci fought back to take it to a tiebreak, only to be taken down by Foggers’ superior speed. Fognini will be joined in the semi-finals by compatriot Potito Starace (yes, Potito Starace has had a better week than Marin), who beat Nalbandian’s conqueror, the suddenly-relevant Horacio ‘Onion’ Zeballos. Also hanging around? Hot Santi Giraldo and Vanilla Robredo. So it’s still a bit sexy.

… And that is what has been happening on the ATP tour.

Posted in florian mayer, ivan ljubicic, johannesburg, marin cilic, richard gasquet, santiago, santiago giraldo, somdev devvarman, zagreb | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Image is Everything: D Cup Quarter-finals

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Because nothing generates quite so much fantastic photoage as Davis Cup. You know it to be true.

sorry but ive to say i fcking won davis cup!omg

Pretty sure I could snap him like a twig. A twig.

Marin’s left arm makes a desperate bid for freedom.

Get the man a Big Mac, a big drink and a big vuvuzela.

“Did I leave the gas on …?”

This is not the face I’ve missed.

This is the face I’ve missed.

Put it away, Nole. Or I will come to Serbia and show you where to … never mind.

“Mr. President. What the hell.”

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Serbian love huddle.

Eduardo Schwank looking in no way ridiculous.

Eduardo Schwank being no way ridiculous.

Kind of impossible to dislike Gael when he finds himself on this planet long enough to win a big match.

Tipsy wants a cuddle. No-one on this earth can blame him.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Premature celebrating.

Yeah, Youzh better run.

Having beaten Spain at tennis, France take them on at the art of the manly hug. And win.

Have him caramelised and sent to my room.

Nole Major and Nole Minor.

Look who showed up to ‘help’.

“I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods …”

Kolya contemplates the many tragedies of life.

Shamil contemplates finding another job.

You’re not helping.

Homoerotic celebrations: must try harder.

Posted in david ferrer, david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, gael monfils, gilles simon, horacio zeballos, igor andreev, ivan ljubicic, janko tipsarevic, julien benneteau, marin cilic, markko djokovic, michael llodra, mikhail youzhny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Indian Wells: Are You Five Years Ago?

Posted by gauloises1 on March 22, 2010

This is what happens when you don’t blog for a few days.

Ivan Ljubicic, your Indian Wells champion 2010.

I didn’t have him in my bracket. He didn’t have him in his bracket. But you can’t argue with the trophy. After being the first to successfully capitalise on Novak Djokovic’s erratic form, Ljubicic then beat Pico before upsetting Nadal – who looked to me like the champion from his first match onwards – 36 64 76(1). I was watching the Six Nations (it happens once a year, OK) and only saw the third set tiebreak, but if that was representative of the match then that was not just a huge but a well-deserved victory for Ljubicic, who was 1 for 5 against Nadal before Saturday. Backing it up in two tiebreak sets against Andy Roddick to take his first ever Masters title at the age of 31 is just … remarkable.

I suppose with the benefit of hindsight you can say that the stage was set for an upset, what with the Big Four (are they still that?) having played either too much tennis or not enough or, in the case of Andy Murray, mainly just being terrible. But even if you thought someone was going to take their first Masters title, you wouldn’t have thought it would have been Ljubicic, would you? Be honest. The cranium knows when you’re lying.

I’m not, incidentally, going to point out that if a WTA player seeded just inside the top 20 had won on the women’s side, there would have been all sorts of stories about the weakness of the top ladies. I’m going to think it a lot, but I’m not going to point it out.

What depth!

Anyway, huge congratulations to Ljubicic, the latest and perhaps the greatest to enjoy a late-career renaissance on the big stage. And the 2010 Indian Wells champion. I’m just going to keep saying that until it sinks in.

Incidentally, there was some consolation for Nadal, who won the doubles with his partner Marc Lopez.

So well done there.

Posted in andy roddick, indian wells, ivan ljubicic, rafael nadal, titlists | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Exhibitionism in Kooyong

Posted by gauloises1 on January 13, 2010

So, the AAMI Classic is happening in Kooyong this week. It’s the spiritual home of Australian tennis, you know. To be honest I’ve never really got the point of this one, but it’s an exo, it’s a warm up, it has good players, and I once met a lady in the pub who told me that she used to usher there and once had to hide Steffi Graf in the crowd when she was Andre Agassi’s Secret Love. So there.

And the players do tend to lend themselves to nice photoage …

They’ve more or less lined up the players in order of how much I like them, isn’t that sweet?

I know where you’re coming from, Ivan.

Well hello there, Nole.

And hello to you too, giant tanned man.

Just cute.

So that’s the field, basically. The draw’s here, although it makes me feel lost and confused. Basically, everyone will play, and then at some point someone will be handed a shiny trophy.

Oh, and Andy Murray – despite being turned down for a main draw spot in favour of Ivan Ljubicic (deal with that a minute) – will play a match against someone on Thursday ‘outside the round robin format’. So, basically he’ll be playing a mini-exhibition all by himself. This makes me sad.

Tonight’s action kicks off in about an hour or so:

Ivan Ljubicic v Juan Martin del Potro
Novak Djokovic v Tommy Haas
Fernando Gonzalez v Fernando Verdasco
Robin Soderling v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Posted in andy murray, exhibitions, fernando gonzalez, fernando verdasco, ivan ljubicic, jo-wilfried tsonga, juan martin del potro, kooyong, novak djokovic, robin soderling, tommy haas | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Stakhovsky, Melzer, Ljubicic Capture Titles

Posted by gauloises1 on November 2, 2009

Finals galore today. Well, three. I don’t know what the galore threshhold is.

First up, congratulations to qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat Argentine Horacio Zeballos 26 76(8) 76(7) for the St Petersburg title. It’s the Ukrainian’s second title, the first coming in Zagreb 2008. Commiserations to Zeballos but it’s been a great week for him, too, backing up some solid results on the Challenger circuit. And I can now almost pick him out of a lineup.

horacio zeballos

I’m not a huge fan of Stakhovsky, in terms of either his game or his personality (this will be a theme in today’s titlists), and mainly remember him for being Andy Murray’s defeated opponent in the US Open juniors. But given that his game had completely fallen away after a strong start to the year, it’s a great result for him to be back in the winner’s circle.

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

And well done to Flemski, the British duo of Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, who took their second ATP doubles title by defeating Chardy and Gasquet 10-4 in the super tiebreak. Wonder if they’ll be able to talk their way into first class this time … I doubt it.

In Lyon, despite the prevalence of French players, the title went to grumpy old baldy Ivan Ljubicic, who kicked it old school by defeating Michael Llodra 75 63 for his first title since 2007.

michael llodra lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

And in Vienna, Jurgen Melzer irritated me exceedingly by beating Marin Cilic 64 63 for the title. From what I saw of the match (my stream was very poor quality), Marin was as usual defeated by his own inconsistency, but Melzer was extremely solid. Well done to him; it’s nice for him to win a title on home soil after his last final in Kitzbuhel when a certain JMDP beat him during the halcyon summer of 2008. Good times.

marin cilic vienna 2009

jurgen melzer doha 2009

jurgen melzer vienna 2009 trophy

Congratulations to all …

Posted in horacio zeballos, ivan ljubicic, jurgen melzer, lyon, marin cilic, michael llodra, sergiy stakhovsky, st petersburg, titlists, vienna | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shanghai: Another One Bites the Dust

Posted by irefusetotellyou on October 17, 2009

[Note: Fortunately and/or unfortunately for you all, I’ll be posting sporadically while Gaul is on her well-deserved mini-break. Last I heard she was planning on jetsetting over to some mysterious South American country to tend to some tall guy’s right wrist, but … that’s just speculation. –IRRTY]

Whew. Well, a lot happened today. Or yesterday. Or whenever. (I don’t deal too well with this wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff.)

First off: London-hopeful and perpetual under-the-radar-man Nikolay Davydenko beat Radek Stepanek 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Kolya was able to convert 6 out of 14 break points in his quest to win his 4th ATP title of the year.

If Kolya is able to win on Saturday, he’ll jump 2 spots to No. 7, thus capturing a spot in London in November. Says the always-practical Kolya of this prospect as well as his upcoming semifinal match: “If I win I always have more points, but tomorrow I don’t need think about that. … If I win, is good. If not, bad luck.” 


In the next match of the day, Novak Djokovic beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Evidently there was a bit of this:

Then some of this:

But, in the end, it was this:


In my personal “Wha?!” moment of the day, Feliciano Lopez beat Robin Soderling 7-6(4), 6-3. FeLo did have a 3-2 record against RobSod coming into this match, but I was nevertheless a bit disappointed that RobSod couldn’t pull through. I guess FeLo’s new cropped hair/manicured beard will live to see the camera tennis court another day.


Finally, Rafael Nadal won 6-3, 3-6 against Ivan Ljubicic after Ljuby retired, citing his left hip. A rather unfortunate end for Ljubicic, who had been playing really well in this tournament. Get better soon, old man.


Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d I Ljubicic (CRO) 36 63 ret. (left hip)
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [8] G Simon (FRA) 63 26 62
[6] N Davydenko (RUS) d [13] R Stepanek (CZE) 61 46 61
F Lopez (ESP) d [9] R Soderling (SWE) 76(4) 63

Doubles – Semi-finals
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d [3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) 76(2) 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d [5] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) 46 76(6) 10-6

Posted in ATP, feliciano lopez, ivan ljubicic, nikolay davydenko, novak djokovic, radek stepanek, rafael nadal, robin soderling, shanghai, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Shanghai: Verdasco Out, Tsonga-Soderling To Meet

Posted by gauloises1 on October 14, 2009

Fairly fun day in Shanghai today with the obvious exception of del Potro’s withdrawal (Tommy Haas was also forced to retire after a set against Rainer Schuettler). The first and second seeds, Nadal and Nole, both came through; Rafa winning a thriller against Blake 64 in the third and looking increasingly like his old self, and Nole in fairly routine fashion over Fabio Fognini.

shanghai rafa nadal second roundshanghai novak djokovic second round

It’ll be Robredo and Schuettler next respectively. Probably the upset of the day was Fernando Verdasco, who really wanted a strong showing here to boost his London bid, falling to Ivan Ljubicic, 64 76(6). I flicked over from time to time and saw some truly horrible tennis from Verdasco, and some truly classic tantrums.

shanghai fernando verdasco second roundshanghai ivan ljubicic second round

But at least Verdasco’s better half had a good day, putting out compatriot and sixteenth seed David Ferrer, while La Monf survived his own bizarre tactics and lack of attention span to beat Hewitt 62 in the third.

shanghai feliciano lopez second round

shanghai gael monfils second round

Marat Safin went out to Tomas Berdych and then bitched about it, and a blockbuster match-up was set between Robin Soderling and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both guys are hoping to nab a London spot. Should be big fun.

shanghai jo-wilfried tsonga second roundshanghai robin soderling second round

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d J Blake (USA) 62 67(4) 64
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 63 61
J Melzer (AUT) d [3] J del Potro (ARG) 75 21 ret. (right wrist)
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] S Zeng (CHN) 63 63 
I Ljubicic (CRO) d [7] F Verdasco (ESP) 64 76(6)
[8] G Simon (FRA) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[9] R Soderling (SWE) d N Almagro (ESP) 64 75
[11] G Monfils (FRA) d L Hewitt (AUS) 46 64 62
[14] T Robredo (ESP) d [Q] F Mayer (GER) 46 76(10) 64 – Saved 3 M.P.
[Q] R Schuettler (GER) d [15] T Haas (GER) 64 ret. (right shoulder)
F Lopez (ESP) d [16] D Ferrer (ESP) 46 75 61 
T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] M Safin (RUS) 36 64 64

Doubles – Second Round
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d [1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 64 64
[2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 62
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 75 36 10-4
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d [4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) 57 63 10-7
[5] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) d F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) W/O (Verdasco knee)
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Petzschner (GER) 62 76(3)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [7] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 57 63 10-5
[8] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d B Becker (GER) / T Haas (GER) W/O (Haas – right shoulder)

Posted in feliciano lopez, fernando verdasco, gael monfils, ivan ljubicic, james blake, jo-wilfried tsonga, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, robin soderling, shanghai | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »