2005 SHANGHAI MASTERS CUP
Roger Federer v Ivan Ljubicic
6-3 2-6 7-6
Federer was rusty from not practicing due to a sprained ankle.
Ljubicic had his chances to knock off the rusty champion who didn't appear to have total confidence running even with an ankle brace for support.
However, the world number one from Switzerland, Federer was able to survive his toughest test in months by outlasting Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-4), in a back-and-forth affair Tuesday at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Federer lost two match points and later fell within two points of his first defeat since losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in the semi-finals of the French Open on June 3.
However, he controlled the tie-break and when a hard backhand got by Ljubicic down the line, Federer's remarkable winning streak extended to 33.
With the tense triumph, Federer moved within eight victories of Bjorn Borg's 41-match tear from 1979-80 and improved to 79-3 this season.
If Federer, who returned from a six-week lay-off due to an injured right ankle to edge David Nalbandian on Sunday, can claim the title here, he would match John McEnroe's single-season winning percentage mark, set during an 82-3 campaign in 1984.
Federer improved to 5-0 this year against Ljubicic, perhaps his biggest threat to the title after a rash of injuries has decimated the field.
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