Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Murray to Face a Man with a Dream; in Association with David Lloyd

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Murray to Face a Man with a Dream; in Association with David Lloyd

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lloyd

ANDY Murray will be facing a man realising a long-held dream when he tackles Ivan Ljubicic today in the third round at Wimbledon.

The Croatian is one of the most experienced men in tennis but an appearance on Centre Court has been missing from his CV, and now his opportunity has come.

Ljubicic said: "It's really the only court on earth that I haven't played on. I'm really excited about going out there and showing the British people what I can do."

The 32-year-old looked to be on a downward spiral when he dropped out of the top 70 two years ago but instead he has found some of the best form of his career.

At the Indian Wells Masters in the spring of 2010, the former world number three won his biggest title and a first-round win over Marin Cilic here served notice of the threat he could pose to Murray.

Ljubicic said: "There are many more things that I can achieve. In the slams I never really played my best tennis and this year I have reached the third round in Australia, fourth in Paris and third round here, which is almost the best season I've ever had.

"I'm playing for this. I was thinking last year when I lost first round to Michal Przysiezny, 'Is it possible that I'm never going to play on Centre at Wimbledon?'.

"I came back this year and saw the draw and I had in the back of my mind that I would have to win two matches to have a chance.

"The feeling when you win a match, there is nothing like it in normal life, so this is probably why tennis players keep playing as long as they can, and also why tennis players struggle when they stop."

Ljubicic has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon and had won only six matches in 11 appearances before this year.

But he has beaten Murray three times in their six previous meetings, including in Beijing last year for the loss of only five games.

Roger Federer's quest to reclaim the Wimbledon title from Rafael Nadal gathered pace with a clinical straight-sets annihilation of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. …

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