Ivan Ljubicic has agreed to be a player-captain when Croatia begins the defence of its Davis Cup title against Austria next month.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
Zagreb:Ivan Ljubicic has agreed to be a player-captain when Croatia begins the defence of its Davis Cup title against Austria next month. Ljubicic, who helped Croatia win the Davis Cup for the first time last month, agreed to be the captain when last year's leader Nikki Pilic and 2001 Wimbledon champ Goran Ivanisevic refused the job, said Radimir Cacic, the head of Croatian Tennis Federation, on Monday. However, Ljubicic will lead the team only for the one tie on Feb. 10-12, said Cacic, adding he was "certain'' Ivanisevic will eventually agree to become the captain after they meet again this month. Asked who will help Ljubicic when he plays, Cacic said, "I don't know. We'll discuss it later.'' Ljubicic, ranked eighth in the world, became a national icon when he and Mario Ancic beat Slovakia in December's final. Pilic stepped down after becoming the first man to captain two nations to the Davis Cup crown. He also led Germany to success in 1988, '89 and '93. Ivanisevic announced in December he would take over as captain, but when the Croatian federation asked Pilic to stay on as an adviser, Ivanisevic reportedly said this month he didn't want to take over the team until Pilic was no longer part of it.