Ljubicic retires after Monte Carlo defeat
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.
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."