Djokovic Defeats Federer For Fourth Indian Wells Title
Novak Djokovic is still the king of the desert!
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer entered their BNP Paribas Open final rematch playing exceptional tennis. Neither had dropped a set en route to the championship showdown, dispatching some of the world’s best with apparent ease.
World No. 1 Djokovic succeeded in carrying that relentless momentum into his 38th battle with the Swiss on Sunday afternoon, withstanding nerves and wild momentum shifts to successfully defend his title with a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 win over the 33-year-old World No. 2.
"I thought overall it was a great match from my side, very solid, great intensity, great commitment to hit every ball," Djokovic said. "I was very focused in the present moment."
With his fourth title in Indian Wells, Djokovic matches Federer as the most successful competitor in tournament history and becomes the 12th player in the Open Era to capture 50 titles, surpassing his coach Boris Becker at 49.
The 27 year old fell to Federer just three weeks ago in the Dubai final, where he failed to convert on any of his seven break opportunities. It was a different story in California. The Serb claimed the first break of the match on his fourth chance with Federer serving at 3-2 in the first set. He broke again at 1-1 in the second, which looked to be all that he needed to close out the contest.
Federer had other plans. He continued to put pressure on Djokovic, chipping and charging on his service returns. He would claim a break of his own to level the set at 4-4, taking advantage of three double faults from Djokovic in the eventual tie-break to force a decider.
The top seed rebounded in the third set with an early break, but Federer would break back one game later, tying up the match at 2-2. Federer would later double fault to give Djokovic a 4-2 lead and the leeway he needed to clinch his 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in two hours and 17 minutes.
"It's great that I managed to win this match in the big tournament and to win it in a way that I felt like I was the better player on the court," Djokovic said. "It's going to give me confidence, not just for future matches that I play against [Federer], but just for Miami and the rest of the season."
"Novak did well to sustain the lead for most of the match; I think he found an extra gear in the end," Federer said. "It was tough. You know, I enjoyed the match; it had a bit of everything. Controlled aggression was the key out there to try to play like that from the baseline."
Djokovic will take home $900,400 and 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts. With 138 weeks at No. 1, he is now just three weeks away from tying Nadal for the sixth-most weeks at the summit of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since August 23, 1973).
Did You Know?
Federer and Djokovic sit at second on the "Most Open Era Match-Ups" list, and are now just four meetings behind Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal in first.