Ljubicic pips Moya to win Chennai Open
World number nine and top seed Ivan Ljubicic dethroned twice champion Carlos Moya of Spain 7-6 6-2.tennis Updated: Jan 08, 2006 22:28 IST
World number nine and top seed Ivan Ljubicic dethroned twice champion Carlos Moya of Spain 7-6 6-2 to win the Chennai Open on Sunday.
The Croat showed no ill effects from his tough three-set semi-final win over Belgian Kristof Vliegen earlier on Sunday, overpowering crowd favourite Moya in an engrossing tussle in the southern Indian city.
The first set lasted close to an hour. Trailing 5-6 in the tiebreak, the 26-year-old Ljubicic, who led his country to their maiden Davis Cup title last year, rifled in two aces to put pressure on the Spaniard who double-faulted to lose the set.
Moya, forced to come through four gruelling three-setters to reach the final, was broken in the third and fifth games of the second set.
"He deserved to win today," said former French Open champion Moya, who was aiming for a hat-trick of titles.
"With these guys you have to take the few chances you have. I didn't take advantage of that."
Ljubicic was given a wild card entry to replace French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who withdrew with a foot injury.
"I played my best tennis of the week today," said the Croat, who was on his first visit to Chennai.
"It has been quite some time since I played two matches in one day. "I think the morning match helped me to find my rhythm ahead of the final.
"There is no better way than to start the year with a win."