2006 NASDAQ-100 OPEN
ROGER FEDERER v IVAN LJUBICIC
7-6, 7-6, 7-6
Ljubicic, the world number six, battled gamely throughout, taking all three sets to tie-breaks.
But Federer was able to raise his game when it mattered, winning the key points to claim the win.
The victory gave Federer the Indian Wells-Miami Masters Series double for the second year in a row.
"To win back-to-back like this is unbelievable... I never thought I'd do it again. It really feels great" said Federer.
Roger said about the match,"It was tough today, he made me work very hard. He could have pushed me further
if he'd played better on big points in the tie-breaks. But he was going for big serves with great variation.
He made me work but I expected that - three tie-breaks is the most extreme you can have."
The Nasdaq-100 Open is often referred to as tennis' unofficial fifth Grand Slam and for Ljubicic
it would have been the biggest title win of his career.
Despite the tight scoreline, Ljubicic never quite threatened to upset the favored Swiss champ.
He matched Federer shot for shot in the first set but the world number one took the tie-break 7-5.
It appeared Federer might run away with it when he took the first break of serve of the match midway through the second set.
Ljubicic battled back to earn another tie-break and then led by a break in the third set.
But he was unable to take advantage of his opportunities as Federer fought back in the third to wrap up victory.
"I played well but it's still a loss; it feels a bit rough," Ljubicic told reporters.
"He never misses in tie-breaks and comes up with his best shots when it's important."
Ljubicic's backhand erred too often in this match, but his stellar serving still made him a tough opponent, hitting 21 aces.
Federer received $533,350 for his fourth title this year. Ljubicic earned $266,675 and has finished as the runner-up in three of the past four Masters Series events.
Now Federer moves on to the clay courts to try and dominate there like he has on American soil where he has won 48 consecutive matches and the past seven tournaments he has entered.