Overdue win for Ljubicic
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:54
The experienced Croatian was the only non-Frenchman in the quarter-finals but he proved a thorn in the side of the host nation and completed his mission with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Michael Llodra.
Ljubicic, a former world number three, looked to be on the slide when he dropped outside the world’s top 70 earlier this year. But he has recovered impressively and is now close to returning to the top 20.
The 30-year-old’s last title came in June 2007, and the first of his nine main tour crowns came in Lyon back in 2001.
Wild card Llodra missed break-point chances before dropping his serve in the final game of the opening set.
Ljubicic, the third seed, then trailed at the start of the second – but four games in a row put him well on the way to victory.
The Croatian is the third player aged 30 or over to win an ATP Tour title this season, after Radek Stepanek and Tommy Haas.