HEAD Racquet Rebel Ivan Ljubicic hammered 21 aces with his YouTek Extreme Pro to defeat Andy Roddick 7-6, 7-6 and claim his biggest career success by winning the Indian Wells Masters at the weekend. The Croatian who turned 31 last Friday, added the American to a victim's list which also included fellow HEAD player Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals and Rafael Nadal in the semis in the Californian desert.
Ljubicic achieved success in his fourth Masters 1000 final for his tenth career trophy. The match was completed without one break of serve, with Roddick missing on six chances and Ljubicic on three. Ljubicic earned the win after Roddick saved three match points in the second-set tiebreaker, with the Croatian firing his concluding ace for victory.
"Looking at my career general, I did feel like I was missing a Masters 1000 title. It's a really fantastic feeling to finally have it. It gives something special to your career. It makes everything look better actually. I was just taking it match by match and everything was just happening."
Ljubicic, third in the world four years ago, has cracked the ATP Top 15, rising to 13th after his first title since Lyon last autumn.
HEAD was well represented at the semi-final stage as well, with Robin Soderling defeating Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6. Sweden's 2009 Roland Garros finalist took the victory using a YouTek Radical MP.
Murray saved three match points in the contest as he played his first event since Melbourne. "He played well to start and I didn‘t move well," said Murray. "I was hitting short and he dictated the points. It was poor from my side. He’s a lot better player than he was three years ago when I played against him."
Soderling said he executed his game plan perfectly in windy conditions. "I was pretty sure before the match that it was that it would be almost impossible to out power Andy because he's moving really well and he puts everything back.
"I had to wait for my opportunities a little bit more. You have to play well to beat Andy," said the ATP No. 7.
Murray will begin his Miami title defence back on the No. 3 ranking after moving up one spot as a result of his Indian Wells showing.