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By Nenad N. Bach | Published  08/31/2003 | Sports | Unrated


Good partnership brings good results

At the 2003 US Open Tennis Tournament a new Men's Doubles partnership was born between IVAN LJUBICIC and MARIO ANCIC. With their blistering tennis serves they pummel the ball to victory by beating Yevgeny Kafelnikov and his partner David Riki who is ranked #7 in doubles.

With Croatian tennis fans loud and persistent encouragement of "Ajmo decki!", the new doubles partners won two out of three sets.

"Kafelnikov is among the top tennis players in the world. He is the most successful Russian in tennis history. He won Olympic Gold," said smiling Ancic. This win is especially important to Mario because the day before he lost in first round in singles match against powerful Czech Jiri Novak who is ranked 10. One can argue that Mario had a bit of a bad luck in the draw against top 10 player. But at the end, all is fair in tennis. Ancic is only 19 and so far totally injury free. The draw was fair and square, performed in front of hundreds of people. In fact, it was done at a prestigious ceremony at the United Nations.

In doubles, Ancic reached final at Kyoto Challenger 2002 with Zovko. Prior to that Mario captured doubles title at Croatia Futures with brother Ivica.

Last double partner of Ivan Ljubicic was Goran Ivanisevic. Jokingly referred to as "Double Trouble" the two produced stunning comeback from two sets down to squeeze past American team and give Croatia a 2-1 lead during this year Davis Cup in Zagreb.

In singles, Ljubicic lost in second round to number 4 seed Andy Roddick. Their match created so much controversy it requires another article. On the lighter side, Americans often mangled Ljubicic name, so they finally settled to call him "Ljubi".

Perhaps Ivan's loss, like Mario's, was another incentive to go all out on Men's Doubles games. On Saturday, August 30th, "Ljubi" and Mario won in the second round 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. There was something unique about this game. The foursome who played are from the following countries: Jurgen Melzer from Austria, Filippo Volandri from Italy, Mario Ancic from Split, Croatia and Ljubicic who was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina but now plays for Croatia.

On Labor Day, "Ljubi" and Mario will play Third Round. Good partnership brings good results.

Katarina Tepesh


 Mario Ancic CRO 
  Ivan Ljubicic CRO 
  5  6  6       
  Petr Luxa CZE 
  David Skoch CZE 
    7  1  2      

Croatian Team Wins.


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