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Ljubicic retires from tennis in Monte Carlo

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (Sports Network) - Ivan Ljubicic retired from professional tennis Sunday following a first-round loss to Ivan Dodig at the Monte-Carlo Masters, third Masters 1000 event of the year.

The Croatian was beaten by countryman Dodig 6-0, 6-3 on the red clay at the famed Monte-Carlo Country Club, where the United States upset the host French in a Davis Cup quarterfinal last week.

An emotional Ljubicic was honored in a short, post-match ceremony.

"I had the pleasure to play on this beautiful court again," said Ljubicic, who is a resident in Monte-Carlo. "I chose this tournament to be my last and I'm very happy that I made that decision."

During his 15 years on tour, Ljubicic went 10-14 in title matches. His best result at a major as a semifinal showing at Roland Garros in 2006.

"I think this is the first time that I'm not happy that I won the match," said Dodig. "I'm happy and proud that I played the match against such a good player who made history, especially for Croatian people, Croatian tennis.

"He had always great advice, suggestions. I think I used every word [he said] to become a better player and I have to thank him for this."

In other first-round action, ninth-seeded Gilles Simon beat Benjamin Balleret 6-3, 6-2 and Viktor Troicki defeated Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-3, 6-1.

The top seed here is world No. 1 star Novak Djokovic.

The great Rafael Nadal won an Open Era-record seventh consecutive title here last year and is a staggering 39-1 lifetime in Monte-Carlo. Nadal topped David Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish finale.

Nadal and fellow former No. 1 Roger Federer are the all-time leaders with 19 Masters titles apiece.

The 2012 Monte-Carlo champ will collect $603,000.