Federer remains on fire, beats Wawrinka to capture Indian Wells title
By Ricky Dimon
For just the second time in his illustrious career and for the first time since 2006, Roger Federer has won both the Australian Open and the Indian Wells Masters in the same season.
Federer continued his unbelievable hot streak at the beginning of 2017 by beating Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday afternoon. The 35-year-old Swiss picked up his fifth straight-set victory of the tournament after one hour and 20 minutes.
“It’s an absolute huge start to the year for me,” Federer assured. “Last year (I) didn’t win any titles. I don’t think I was in any finals except maybe Brisbane. The change is dramatic, and it feels great.”
Nothing about the former world No. 1′s form changed on Sunday. He is now 13-1 this season and may be perfect had he not squandered three match points against Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai. Federer was nothing short of perfection in the California desert, where did not drop a single set and was broken only once in five matches (by Wawrinka at 2-1 in the second set).
Wawrinka managed to be competitive throughout the title match, but his opponent consistently came up with the goods when it mattered most. Federer broke to end the first set with a forehand pass and he eventually clinched victory in style with his third break of the day at 6-5 in the second. The 18-time Grand Slam champion converted match point with a forehand volley into a wide-open court.
“I’m really happy to make the final,” an emotional Wawrinka said. “It’s a great result, but you always want more. And to lose a final, it’s never easy. (I) had some really tough weeks after (the) Australian Open. I was injured. It was really tough for me.
“Anyway, I’m really happy to be [back at my best] level.”
“I think Stan can be very proud of his efforts here and the start to the year,” Federer noted. “And the tournament he played here was great for him. He’s always struggled in the past in the desert. And then, for me, the dream run continues–the fairytale of the comeback that I have already shown in Australia.
“I’m not as surprised (about winning) as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. I mean, couldn’t be more happy.”