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Federer fights back to win in Rotterdam
Updated: 2005-02-21 10:15

Top-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland rallied from a set down to beat Ivan Ljubicic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5) and win the ABN Amro indoor tournament Sunday.

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Mario Ancic from Croatia during their semi-final match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Saturday Feb. 19, 2005. Federer beat Ancic 7-5, 6-3. [AP]
The match was capped by an entertaining third set of winning shots, duels at the net and a tense tiebreaker. It was a sharp contrast to the last time they met in a final, when Federer won 6-3, 6-1 at the Qatar Open in January.

Federer raised his arms in relief when Ljubicic sent a forehand sailing long to end the match.

In the first set, Federer struggled with Ljubicic's powerful serve, then lost his own serve in the 11th game on four unforced errors. But he took command in the second set and broke Ljubicic in the 12th game to even the match.

Both players lifted their game in the decider.

Federer showed deft play at the net and strong passing shots, serving three love games in a row.

Ljubicic chased down Federer's corner shots and abandoned the base line to claim his first points at the net.

The Croat took an early lead in the tiebreaker, when he tapped a winner over the net.

Federer reclaimed the minibreak at 3-4 with a slicing backhand that died in midcourt before sending a corner shot out of Ljubicic's reach to move ahead 6-4.

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