Monday, March 22, 2010

Indian Wells Results: Ljubicic Puts the Cherry on Top, Beats Roddick for IW Title

In last year's "5 Bold Predictions" I wrote that Ivan Ljubicic would retire in 2009. I find myself eating my words now, as the Croatian came out of nowhere to capture the Indian Wells title this week. His final round match with Andy Roddick was a serving fest, and despite the serve being the American's best shot, Ljubicic matched him ace for ace to win his first ever Masters 1000 title 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).

“It was really a mind game,” Ljubicic, who at 31 is the second oldest IW winner ever, said. “When you have two big serves, not a lot of rallies happening, it’s a very mental match. I was fortunate enough to be more relaxed by the end of the match.”
Ljubicic was assisted by having gotten off to great starts in both breakers, as he raced out to 6-2 and 6-3 leads in them. The match featured no service breaks. After defeating Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick this past week, Ljubicic will have plenty to show for his efforts, as he will improve to 13th in the ATP rankings and will take home a hefty $605,500 pay check.

“I felt like I was winning my fair share of the rallies once we got into them,” Roddick, was was aiming to become the first American to win the BNP Paribas Open since Jimmy Connors, said. “I just ran into a guy who served great on the big points. Unfortunately that’s probably the one thing that I don’t have control over out there.”

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