paris05berdych_ljubicic

Points won by each set: [ 28-21, 31-29, 20-28, 23-30, 28-24 ]
Points won directly on serve:
33 % Berdych – 45 of 136
46 % Ljubicic – 58 of 126

Now, 13 years later, I can say that Berdych enjoyed very nice career, but he’s an underachiever given that title, his only Masters 1K. At the time he had a perfect (6-0) record in five-setters, had defeated after dramatic matches the best guys in the world (Federer, Nadal), so everything indicated that he’d win a few Grand Slam titles… His route to the title in Paris-Bercy was really impressive, he defeated six higher ranked players, five of them were seeded. He entered the final having lost in straight sets two matches to Ljubicic, but with relative ease he grabbed the first two sets. Then the Croat took a toilet break to win three games in a row after the comeback on court. A break at 2-all decided the outcome of the 4th set. Berdych [50] needed a treatment to his legs at the beginning of the decider, but his movement wasn’t affected at all. There was 4-all (0/15) after Berdych’s double fault; then the 20-year-old Czech won seven consecutive points playing great tennis. Ljubicic managed to save a triple match point, but Berdych attacked the net twice to get two vital points, the last one with a backhand winner, wrong-footing Ljubicic [10], for whom it was second five set defeat in the finals of prestigious events following his loss to Nadal in Madrid. The Croatian was full of admiration for the style of Berdych’s play and said: “The perfect word to describe him is dangerous. You never know what to expect from him, he can do it all. He played really well and there wasn’t much I could do. I didn’t have many chances, he was just too good.”

Berdych’s route to his 2nd title:
1 Jiri Novak 7-5, 6-3
2 Guillermo Coria 6-4, 6-2
3 Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-4
Q Gaston Gaudio 7-5, 6-0
S Radek Stepanek 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
W Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4

# Comparison of two indoor finals which lasted the same time:
Vienna ’97: Ivanisevic d. Rusedski 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-3… 3 hours 2 minutes… Total points: 172-160… Breaks: 4-2
Paris ’05: Berdych d. Ljubicic 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4… 3 hour 2 minutes… Total points: 130-132… Breaks: 3-2

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