Well, I think we can safely say that anyone who bet on Ivan Ljubicic to win this tournament just won a crapton of money, because I - and probably just about everyone else - would never have picked this in a thousand years. In a field rich with players like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and finalist Roddick... Ljubicic? really?
I mean, Ivan's good. He used to be #3 in the world. He's real good. But that was almost five years ago now and he hasn't been playing strictly excellent tennis. Challengers have been involved. And also, he's 31, which is up there for a tennis player. And despite his former ranking, he's never won one of these things before.
I love that, even though he's past the heyday of his career and his highest ever ranking (one would think, anyway) Ljubicic just pulled off his biggest tournament win ever. Seriously, could it happen to a nicer guy? I was serious yesterday when I said this was a happy final. I would have been happy for Roddick to win - I expected Roddick to win - but I am totally gleeful that Ljubicic did.
This isn't because I think he's a total dude, even though I do think he's a total dude. This proves that even now, even in this era of Hispano-Suisse dominance, even though I love that era, sometimes the unexpected just sneaks up and punches you in the nose. You never expect the unexpected in men's tennis any more... and so when the unexpected happens, it really does put a little smile on your face.
Congratulations, Ivan Ljubicic. This is awesome. And so are you.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago