Top seed Ljubicic wins second season title at Zagreb Indoors
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -- Top-seeded Ivan Ljubicic defeated Austrian qualifier Stefan Koubek 6-3, 6-4 Sunday to win his second title of the year at the Zagreb Indoors.
The No. 5-ranked Ljubicic improved to 14-1 this season, winning his fifth career title. He reached the quarterfinals in the Australian Open and won last month in Chennai, India.
"The year has started brilliantly for me, it is unbelievable," Ljubicic said. "Everybody expected me to go all the way here at home and it was tough, so this is phenomenal."
Ljubicic led Croatia to its first Davis Cup title last year.
"Everybody thought 2005 was the year of my dreams, especially considering the Davis Cup triumph, but it looks like this year could be even better," he said.
Ljubicic's first break came in the seventh game of the first set. His next came in the second game of the following set with a delicate slice that Koubek failed to get back.
Koubek, who needed to play three extra games to qualify for the main draw, beat Ljubicic in their last two meetings. This time, he could not find an answer for the power and precision of his opponent.
Koubek had previously won an ATP tournament as a qualifier in Atlanta in 1999.
The match was a preview to next week's Davis Cup match between Croatia and Austria in Graz, Austria.
"It will be a totally different affair in Austria," Ljubicic said. "There will be a different crowd, different conditions, not easy at all. But I hope everything will be OK."