Federer wins fifth Indian Wells title
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 8:00
"For me, the dream run continues", said the 18-time grand slam champion, who endured six months on the sidelines at the end of previous year because of injury.
Roger Federer has risen four places to his highest Emirates ATP Ranking since 24 October 2016, when he was 7th as a result of capturing his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
At 35, Federer is the oldest player to win one of the elite Masters titles, supplanting Andre Agassi who was 34 when he won in Cincinnati in 2004.
This was Federer's fifth title at Indian Wells and was his 90th tour-level crown.
Everyone thought that his career was over after that knee injury, but with his win at the Australian Open and this one, it is clear that Federer is going to stay and play. So I'm there much, much faster. It is an absolute, huge start to the year for me.
He said during the on-court presentation: "I came here for the first time 17 years ago". I don't think I was in any final except maybe Brisbane a year ago. That has changed dramatically in 2017 and suddenly there are no chinks for the opposition to aim for. He had already had a record of 18 Grand Slam winning the Australian final.
It was not until the 10th game that the first break point came and Federer grasped his chance, winning an epic rally when Wawrinka, who opted not to challenge when he appeared to serve an ace earlier in the game, sent a forehand long.
He broke back to make it 2-2 in the second set and broke Wawrinka's serve to clinch the match on a forehand victor. "This is just a dream start", Federer, who will climb four spots to world number six Monday, told Sky Sports courtside.
This was the 23rd encounter between Federer and the world No. 3 Wawrinka.
After a keenly contested affair, Federer eventually clinched victory with a volley victor. I've lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was your biggest fan.
In an all-Russian women's final, Elena Vesnina defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4.
Played on hard courts, the tournament is one of two outside of the Majors that spans for over eight days. The rankings are based on a rolling 12-months total: today, for example, each player's points earned in Indian Wells last year were taken off and replaced by the points from this year's tournament. He hit a first serve to Federer's backhand the chair umpire ruled out.
"She was up a set and 4-1, then 4-2 in the third", Vesnina said.