3/18/10 8:36 PM | Johan Lindahl
Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic has some unsolicited advice for do-it-all Serb Novak Djokovic: chill out.
Ljubicic, who turned 31 this week, said that his fourth-round upset of Djokovic at the Indian Wells Masters was helped in part by his opponent's nonstop recent schedule.
Djokovic won the Dubai title - struggling in most of his matches - then flew to Belgrade for a Davis Cup victory over the 32-time champion US. A day or two later, he was in the Californian desert for the first Masters 1000 event of the season.
Ljubicic, who quit Davis Cup after the 2007 season, says that trying to perform at top level immediately after the competition is usually a losing proposition. He has a unique perspective as Croatia Serbia in the second round in July, a battle between rival Balkan neighbors.
"He played best of five sets on clay, a five-setter against John Isner on Sunday.You have to travel all the way here, different surface, different balls - everything totally different.
"He can win first round, second round. But he has to aim to be 100 percent fit if he wants to win this tournament, and he wasn't."
"If I didn't get him, somebody would on the way."
"He was already struggling in Dubai. He played long matches there, and after that he went to Serbia, played Davis Cup, and then traveled here. It's just something that you just can't do. That's it."
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