Ivan Ljubicic is the new champion
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Ivan Ljubicic is the new champion

King Carlos' rule is over. The defending champion bit the dust as Croatian top seed beat him 7-6 (6) 6-2 to win the singles title.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 10:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Top seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia poured cold water on the hopes of former world number one Spaniard Carlos Moya for a hat-trick of title triumphs, beating him in straight sets 7-6 (6) 6-2 to capture the ATP Chennai open on Sunday night.

Ljubicic, who led his country to its maiden Davis Cup win last year, started the new season on a winning note, to become the sixth top seed to win the title at the 11-year-old tournament.

Moya, who had played tough three-setters in all four earlier rounds, was perhaps drained of energy compared to Ljubicic, who defeated a fighting Kristof Vliegen this afternoon in a match left incomplete on Saturdayevening due to rain. In fact, after the match Ljubicic said that he had found his rhythm having played two matches on the final day.

The 26-year old Croat showed no signs of fatigue as he raised his game in the second set after taking the closely fought first via a tie-break to record his fourth career singles title after turning pro in 1998.

The past top seeds to win the Chennai Open are Moya (2004 and 2005), Guillermo Canas of Argentina (2002), Patrick Rafter of Australia (1998) and Thomas Enqvist of Sweden (1996-New Delhi).

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 10:37 IST