Updated players list (19 Aug)
For Immediate Release
18th August, 2003
Croatians Ivan Ljubicic & Mario Ancic to play at Thailand Open
Bangkok will be welcoming Croatians Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic, who have confirmed to play at the Thailand Open ATP tennis tournament.
“The latest players confirmed to play at the first-ever Thailand Open are Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic,” said Mr. Chaiyapak Siriwat, Chairman of the Thailand Open Organizing Committee. “As the Thailand Open is played towards the end of the ATP calendar, top players are targeting the Event to earn valuable ATP ranking points which will determine their all important end-of-year World Rankings,” he added.
The No.1 Croat Ivan Ljubicic is a close friend of countryman and 2001 Wimbledon Champion Goran Ivanisevic. He keeps a picture of Ivanisevic with the Wimbledon trophy in his pocket. “It shows that if you want something so much, so badly, that it will come,” says Ljubicic, whose first ATP title in Lyon in 2001 was inspired by Ivanisevic’s triumph at Wimbledon earlier that year.
The talented teenager Mario Ancic has practiced with Ivanisevic since age 10 and has similar mannerisms and a resemblance to his hero. He made the headlines last year when he defeated Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the first round. He was nicknamed “Super Mario” after that great victory.
“Ljubicic and Ancic’s rise in the ATP rankings have been inspired by the mercurial Goran Ivanisevic, a great tennis champion and champion of the nation of Croatia,” said Brian L. Marcar, Managing Director of tournament promoter and entertainment giant BEC-TERO Entertainment. “The two Croatians will form a formidable ‘Eastern Bloc’ at the Thailand Open,” added Mr. Marcar.
“I am looking forward to playing in Bangkok but I know it will be very tough as a lot of good players are playing there including Andy Roddick,” said Ancic.
Roddick claimed the Tennis Masters title in Cincinnati on Sunday and moved into the lead of the ATP Champions Race. He has won 29 of 31 matches since teaming up with superstar coach Brad Gilbert in June and will take a 12-match winning streak into the US Open. Red-hot Roddick has won a season high of five ATP titles from his last ten tournaments and Thai fans have a great opportunity to watch the thrilling American phenomenon live at the Thailand Open.