Ljubicic to meet Ferrero in Vienna final

Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia will meet Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in Sunday's final of the ATP Tour's Vienna Trophy.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia will meet Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in Sunday's final of the ATP Tour's Vienna Trophy. Fourth seed Ljubicic beat fifth-seeded Tommy Robredo 7-6, 6-4 to book his place in his second final in two weeks, while Ferrero, seeded seven, overcame third seed Radek Stepanek 7-6 6-3 on Saturday in their semi-final clash. Ferrero has had a good week so far in Vienna. He beat top-seed David Nalbandian in the quarter-finals and was in equally good form against Saturday's opponent, Radek Stepanek. The first set however was tight with both players displaying great serves and groundstrokes. However it was seventh seed Ferrero who eventually prevailed to take the first set tiebreak 7-6 (3). The second set was more uneven. Ferrero broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead before his Czech opponent took time out to have some treatment on his thigh. Stepanek never truly returned to the kind of form he had shown in the first set and in the end he was broken in the ninth game again, giving Ferrero the set 6-3 and with it the match. This will be Ferrero's second final of the season and he is pleased with his form so far this week. "I am very happy. I think I am playing the whole week pretty good. This kind of player is very difficult to play against because he serve unbelievable on this kind of court and is very difficult to return. Also it is very difficult to read his serve - he serve so fast - so I am very happy for my game today," said Ferrero. His opponent in Sunday's final will be another Czech, Ivan Ljubicic. The fourth seed faced Spaniard Tommy Robredo in his semifinal, and like the other match, the first set was extremely close. It also went to a tie-break in which Ljubicic came through to claim the first set 7-6 (7-2), relying on his strong serve while Robredo stayed at the baseline. Robredo was broken in the opening game of the second set and that gave Ljubicic the edge. He went on to take the second set 6-4 for a place in the final. Ljubicic is fully aware Sunday's final will be tough. "He (Ferrero) played a great match today. He beat Nalbandian who I thought was the favourite there so he had a great win there. Against Radek it is never easy either, Radek is a great player so obviously the two of us are in the final because we played the best tennis this week and it is going to be tough," said Ljubicic. Ljubicic is 2-1 against Ferrero, but the Spaniard won their last encounter in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2003. (AP)