Ivan Ljubicic

Jack Romeo

Professional
i must confess i've never seen ivan ljubicic play and am too lazy to review the previous posts about him. :)

what does he have that other players don't - in the sense that he has played consistently this year and has given the most trouble to federer. i know he got waxed the first time they met this year, but the other 2 times it was 3 sets including one 3rd set tiebreak (i think) and last week in indian wells, they went 2 tiebreaks. is it because he plays well against roger even if roger is playing well or does roger somehow play badly against him?

i get the impression that he has the skills to beat federer but not yet as tough mentally. do you think he'll eventually break through and beat federer? is he good enough to win a masters series or grand slam title in the future?
 

VictorS.

Professional
I've only seen a little bit of him as well. But from what I've seen, he appears to have a very well-rounded game. His serve is probably better than Federer's. Very big serve with good variety. In addition, he has one of the best and most consistent one-handed backhands that you'll see in tennis. Also he's very capable of finishing off points at the net.
 
Ljubicic probably will win a Masters Cup or maybe even two in his carrer...if he dosent meet Federer. The only way i can see Ljub beat Fed is if Fed has a bad day and Ljub has an extremly good one. I highly doubt he will win a Grand Slam though.
 
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splink779

Guest
Ljbucic has an INSANE kick serve. If he hits the line on the ad court you can forget about touching that ball. Not even Fed can reach it. Its one of the reasons he beat Agassi so easily. His first serve is also quite consistent at around 135 mph.
 
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Free_Martha

Guest
Ljubicic has improved his game a lot since getting a new coach.
 

alan-n

Professional
Jack Romeo said:
i get the impression that he has the skills to beat federer but not yet as tough mentally. do you think he'll eventually break through and beat federer? is he good enough to win a masters series or grand slam title in the future?
I like watching Ljubicic, just a different style of player and has improved everytime I've him.

It isn't that Ljubicic is weak mentally compared to Federer, its that Federer has more weapons and a stronger defense. Yeah, a lot are tired of hearing about it, but his abilities are well beyond everyone else. This was displayed when he needed to come up with perfectly placed aces or big tie break points. A lot of times I get the impression that the match is closer than it should be if Federer stayed on the pedal. Ljubicic backhand winners were always good, now it looks to be very very good, his forehand and net play has gotten good but nowhere near the winners that comes off his backhand. He has some of the fastest 1st serve and his 2nd serve kicker can at times be unreturnable.

Masters series event, Yes. Grand Slam, not yet.
 

Andy Hewitt

Professional
When i first saw him last year he would scream croation obscenities and spit on the court in furious rages. Now he seems to be using the Federer approach... building up rage and unloading on others at home! (lol well maybe not unloading it)
 

joeman957

Rookie
alan-n said:
Masters series event, Yes. Grand Slam, not yet.
If Ljubicic has the weapons to take on anyone, and almost defeat Federer, what will stop him from winning a Grand Slam? Winning a Masters series and a Grand Slam are obviously two different achievements, but to me, it seems very similar. Both have the top players competing in a 128 person draw. What makes winning a Grand Slam harder, endurance?
 

alan-n

Professional
joeman957 said:
What makes winning a Grand Slam harder, endurance?
More top draws are in the Grand Slam. More noteriety. Its tougher to close someone out in 5 set match than 3. Everyone paces their game and mentality to be at their peak at Grand Slams. There is much more pressure in Grand Slams, much more people, much more media, much more tension.... Yes it is different level of competition.
 
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splink779

Guest
Well we know he can go 5 sets no problem (Davis Cup). He says his fitness is better and I loved how in his interview during the Roddick match how he said Roddick needs to change his game more to be #1 and that he knows Roddick's game well enough to beat him.
 
My observation is that Ljubicic is a really good all-court player with a lot of tools. He actually serves a little better than Fed when he is on and his backhand is excellent. IMO, the big difference is that Federer is far more agile and can hit a wider variety of shots on defense even if he is way off court.

Typical players tend to build their games based on offense or defense. I think Fed is about as good an offensive player as there is and his agility on defense is also outstanding. There are no weaknesses to exploit.
 

35ft6

Legend
splink779 said:
Ljbucic has an INSANE kick serve. If he hits the line on the ad court you can forget about touching that ball. Not even Fed can reach it. Its one of the reasons he beat Agassi so easily. His first serve is also quite consistent at around 135 mph.
Yeah, his serve is sick. I attended the first day of Davis Cup. The sound his racket brushing the ball on his second serve made was crazy. There was like no hitting through the ball on his second serve at all, it was all brushing. And his kick serve was just ridiculous. Agassi was hitting two handers over his head and that was when he was MOVING INTO the serve.

Ljubicic is a very smart player. He's very patient, but when he gets a good look at the ball he can punish it. In his match against Agassi he basically just out smarted him. He was just keeping the ball in play, allowing Agassi to miss. Also, he was able to change the direction of the crosscourt backhand rallies, smoothly stroking some blazers down the line for clean winners. That's always key when playing Agassi. And his crosscourt backhand was money that day. He was looping it very high to Andre, making it bounce higher than Agassi prefers. He looked like he could stroke that baby all day and not miss.

Federer is capable of ripping Ivan on a good day, even if Ljubicic is having a relatively good day. Aside from his serve, Ljubicic isn't a super aggressive player. He can't create offense out of nowhere like Federer. He has to sort of work his way into an offensive position, unlike Roger, who can impose himself almost at will. If Safin had Ljubicic's brain he would have 8 Grand Slams by now.
 
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