Ivan Ljubicic has bid farewell to tennis after calling time on his career following his exit from the Monte Carlo Masters at the hands of Ivan Dodig.

bl12998549671550 - Ljubicic retires after Monte Carlo defeat

The former world No. 3 fell into his chair in tears after losing 6-0 6-3 in the first round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court event on Sunday.

After falling to fellow Croat Dodig, Ljubicic was honoured with a special award from ATP boss Brad Drewett and tournament director Zeljko Franulovic during a post-match ceremony on court.

"I felt like it could end up emotional but I didn't expect it this big, this emotional. Obviously, it's the end of something beautiful for me," Ljubicic told a news conference.

"It was a tough day for me both on the court and off the court. I knew my mind was everywhere else but on the tennis court."

The three-time Monte Carlo quarter-finalist added: "I had the pleasure to play on this beautiful court again. I chose this tournament to be my last and I'm very happy that I made that decision."

Over a 15-year period, Ljubicic scooped 10 ATP World Tour titles, including a Masters 1000 crown at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. He helped Croatia win their first Davis Cup title in 2005 and reached the semi-finals (his best finish at a major) at the French Open a year later.

Reflecting on his compatriot's decision to bring the curtain down on his career, Dodig said: "I think this is the first time that I'm not happy that I won the match. 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."