Berdych upsets Ljubicic in five sets to win Paris Masters
Paris, Sunday, November 6, 2005
Unseeded Tomas Berdych upset sixth-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in five sets Sunday to win the Paris Masters.
Ljubicic saved three match points, but Berdych held on for a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4 victory. Berdychs forehand winner clinched his second career title.
The 20-year-old Czech is the second-youngest winner of the Paris Masters. In 1986, Boris Becker won the inaugural tournament at 18.
“It’s a great feeling to end the season like this, and to see your name on the list next to people like Boris and Marat (Safin),” Berdych said. “This absolutely changes my goals for next season. I expect to get into the top 20 and more.”
Berdych beat five seeds and two top-10 ranked players - Guillermo Coria and Ljubicic - during the tournament. He defeated second-seeded Coria, No. 7 Gaston Gaudio, No. 8 Radek Stepanek and No. 13 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Late in the fourth set, Berdych called for a trainer during the changeover to massage his thigh. He played the fifth set with his leg heavily taped.
“It was like cramps,” he said. “I couldn’t go down to low balls when I was running.”
Both players held serve comfortably, until Ljubicic lost his composure while serving at 5-4 down.
He trailed 40-0, but one forehand winner and two unforced errors from Berdych let him claw back against three match points.
Berdych collapsed onto the ground when he converted his fourth match point. He won his first career title last year at Palermo, Italy.
Ljubicic did not face a break point in his semifinal win over top-seeded Andy Roddick, but could not overcome Berdych.
“I had a fantastic week really, although I would have liked to win,” said Ljubicic, who won two titles this year.
“Now I look forward to the Masters Cup and Davis Cup."