Roger Federer's dream season continues with Indian Wells title

The Swiss is enjoying his best start to a season since 2006.

And arguably the game's greatest player followed that up in Indian Wells, beating countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in Sunday's final.

With this triumph in the all-Swiss final, Federer joined Novak Djokovic as the only man to win five Indian Wells titles. "[But] the dream run continues".

"I came here for the first time 17 years ago so to be here again as the champion is an wonderful feeling".

Against Spain's 23rd-ranked Carreno Busta, however, it was clear sailing for the three-time Grand Slam champion, who did not face a break point in the 64- minute match. His ranking had slipped to 17 in the world and his goals were modest compared to what he actually ended up achieving.

"In November, you know, December, when I realized things were going well, and we had a meeting about what are the goals for the season in terms of rankings, it is really super secondary, but I wanted to set - or we wanted to set some goals for the season, and the goal was to be top 8 by after Wimbledon. It's still an wonderful result for me", Wawrinka said.

"That's why I go to Miami knowing it's going to be really hard", added Federer, who is showing renewed talent for making the hard look oh so easy. He's still a tough player to play for me, for my game, because he's playing quick. It's great, but you definitely have to reassess your goals and see: where do you go from here?

Federer said the key to his schedule would be working out "how can I remain healthy and how can I keep the fire and the motivation for the tournaments that I will be playing".

Federer improved to 20-3 overall head-to-head record versus Wawrinka.

Finally, when Wawrinka reached out desperately to send a forehand back, Federer charged to the net and slammed down a running forehand to clinch the title.

A pivotal moment in the game came as Wawrinka was serving at 30-15.

The closest Sock got was a deuce in the eighth game of the second set, and Federer quickly dispersed the whiff of danger with two forehand winners.

An emotional Wawrinka, who was looking to win just his second ATP Masters crown, was fighting back tears during the trophy ceremony.

Three-time Grand Slam victor Wawrinka, 31, will be playing his first Indian Wells final, having lost in last year's semi-finals. "He's laughing, he's an a****** but it's okay", the 31-year-old added with a giggle, sending Federer and the stadium into laughter.

"I would like to congratulate Roger", a tearful Wawrinka said. Now I won it and I'm so, so happy.

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"But I still lost the final", he said. "So it wasn't easy". With a lopsided record against Nadal working against him, they said he wouldn't be able to beat him in Australia?

"I was very sad when I couldn't come here previous year so just being here is a lovely feeling. And I can't tell you enough what it means to me", Federer said.

"And when I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind: I'm not going to give it".

  • Julie Sanders