By Nick Georgandis
March 19 - Former world No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia turns 34. Ljubicic retired in April of 2012 after 14 years on the tour that saw him compile a 429-296 record, win 10 titles and reach the French Open semifinals in 2006, and the Australian Open quarterfinals that same year. As a doubles player, he reached the quarterfinals of three Grand Slams, won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and also helped Croatia win the 2005 Davis Cup. His best stretch of tennis came in 2006 and 2007. He went 57-24 in 2006 with two titles and eight finals, ending the year ranked No. 9. He bettered that in 2007, winning three titles, going 61-20 and finishing the year ranked No. 5.
March 22 - The Czech Republic's Jiri Novak, who reached the top 10 in both singles and doubles in his 15-year career, turns 38. Novak turned pro in 1993 and won seven career titles, reaching No. 5 in the world in October of 2002, the same year he reached the Australian Open semifinals and the fourth round of the US Open. He won 18 career doubles titles and reached No. 6 in the world in July of 2001.
March 23 - Brooklyn native "Fast Eddie" Dibbs turns 62. Dibbs played 17 years on the pro tour, reaching No. 5 in the world in 1978 and winning 22 titles. He reached the French Open semifinals in 1975 and 1976, and the US Open quarterfinals in 1975, 1976 and 1979.
Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, a winner of the career Grand Slam in men's doubles, turns 41. A very good singles player, Bjorkman won six titles in his 17-year career and reached No. 4 in the world in 1997, reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon (2006) and the US Open (1997). In doubles, he was simply outstanding, winning 54 career titles and compiling a 709-306 record, reaching No. 1 in the world in July of 2001. He won the Australian Open title thrice (1998, 1999, 2001), Wimbledon thrice (2002-2004), the US Open once (2003) and completed the career Slam when he won the French Open in 2005, repeating as champion in 2006. He won Slams with four different partners, Jacco Eltingh, Patrick Rafter, Todd Woodbridge and Max Mirnyi.
Posted: 3/16/2013 10:33:52 AM