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Page last updated at 23:41 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Ljubicic wins first Masters title

Ivan Ljubicic
Ljubicic had lost his previous three Masters finals

Ivan Ljubicic became the oldest first-time winner of a Masters Series event by beating Andy Roddick in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The 31-year-old Croat, seeded 20th and a 100-1 shot before the tournament started, defeated the American seventh seed 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

He hit 20 aces and 42 winners to seal a 10th ATP title in just over two hours.

"It's been a fantastic week," said Ljubicic, who beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on his way to the final.

Ljubicic had lost his three previous Masters Series finals but was not to be denied this time.

He set up his fourth match point with the last of his 20 aces, then clinched it with a service winner to become the second-oldest champion at Indian Wells behind Jimmy Connors, who was five months older when winning in 1984.

"It was really a mind game," Ljubicic 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."


Roddick was trying to become the first American man to win at Indian Wells since 2001, but he trailed in both tie-breakers.

He had beaten Ljubicic seven times in 10 meetings, winning their last match at Indian Wells in two tie-breakers in 2007.

"I felt like I was winning my fair share of the rallies once we got into them," he 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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see also
Jankovic takes Indian Wells title
21 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Ljubicic hits back to beat Nadal
21 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray bows out in Indian Wells
20 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Nadal sets up Ljubicic semi-final
19 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray through but Djokovic exits
18 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Djokovic forced to work for win
16 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray cruises past fitful Seppi
14 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Nadal cruises through on return
14 Mar 10 |  Tennis

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