Croat Ivan Ljubicic celebrated his first Masters 1000 title after upsetting seventh-seeded American Andy Roddick 7-6, 7-6 in the final of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Sunday.
The big-serving Ljubicic, seeded 20th, fired down 20 aces and hit 42 winners to seal an emotional victory in just over two hours on the stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Appearing in his fourth Masters final, the 31-year-old clinched the second-set tiebreak 7-5 after unleashing a booming service winner before thrusting both arms skywards.
Ljubicic then removed his sweatband before walking to the net to shake hands with Roddick, who had saved three match points in the tiebreak after clawing his way back from 5-1 down
“It’s a really fantastic feeling to finally have it,” former world number three Ljubicic told reporters after earning the crystal winner's trophy and his 10th ATP title.
“There were times — 2005, 2006 — when I really felt I deserved one," he said, referring to his runner-up spots in Masters events.
“It gives something special to your career.”
Ljubicic had played some of the best tennis of his life at Indian Wells, eliminating second seed Novak Djokovic in the fourth round and third seed Rafa Nadal in the semi-finals.