Photo by Petar Fabijan
A career after…
Ivan Ljubičić is a man who cares about people; family, colleagues from the world of sports… Like many top athletes, he wanted to continue in the same line, and after a great career – with superb achievements, to push the limits, building his name alongside sports fields… And he has succeeded… He certainly has…
“Baki is a wonder: captain, skipper, sailor, cook, nono, friend and brother. He is everything on our boat. The boat would not make sense without him, the system does not work and then, that’s just not it. And initially, the idea had been that he would bring the Menorquin 160 from Spain and show us five or six important things in three or four days, and then we would continue on our own. However, the three arranged days turned into ten years of unplanned and unbreakable friendship in which Baki became an indispensable member of our family. Our roads, luckily for us, and, we believe, for him, permanently intertwined at one moment. At the same time, when we bought our ship, and we wanted only the Menorquin 160 because nothing else was an option, through a twist of fate that linked us, Baki decided to become a skipper. The man from Murter, who was then 54 and was a former rower and construction engineer, had enough. He simply had enough of everything. And that’s when we appeared. It turned out – we needed him and wanted him! And he has been here to this day. The old sea dog.”
Baki and Roger
These are the chosen words that the famous Croatian tennis player Ivan Ljubičić, winner of the gold Olympic medal, winner of the Davis Cup and, at one point in his career, the third player of the world, and today the coach of the best tennis player of the world Roger Federer, talks about his great family friend – Baki from Murter.
“Hey, I listen to Baki on my own Menorquin 160! We have that kind of a relationship that I have to ask him whether I am allowed to walk on my boat wet,” says Ljubičić with a smile while we talk on the terrace of the restaurant in the ACI marina Ičići.
And he just got a text from, guess who, Baki!
Baki writes, “I prepared the octopus, we are coming!”
Ljubičić laughs. Heartily, there is no acting there. Only sincerity. Baki, whose name he does not want to reveal to the public, is a warm, co-opted member of the Ljubičić family. Both he and his wife.
That speaks volumes about the human greatness and simplicity of the tennis player who achieved more in his career that he believed possible, as he himself admits.
That relationship with Baki is a testimony to the greatness and simplicity of the man who treats his Baki and one Roger Federer with the same amount of respect. Federer, a tennis genius and par excellence gentleman on the field and in personal life, whom he helped return to the tennis Olympus in 2017. However, that place does not belong to this Swiss man of South African roots just because of his incredible tennis skill and elegance, but also because of his approach to the game and opponents.