Indian Wells (California) : Roger Federer secured his fifth win at the BNP Paribas Open, the first World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tourney of the season, defeating his Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5.
With Sunday’s win, the 35-year-old Federer — who is now the oldest champion in history at Indian Wells — goes up four slots to the sixth place in the ATP rankings and is tied with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic as the players with the greatest number of trophies from the California desert venue, reports Efe.
Federer had come back from a six-month hiatus from tennis by winning the Australian Open in January, and seemingly breezed through the California contest, winning every set in all his encounters.
Both players held serve until the 10th game of the first set when Federer, out in front by 5-4, managed to best his close friend in a 21-shot rally for the service break, after which Wawrinka broke Federer’s serve initially to go out in front 2-0 in the second set before the champion-to-be battled back.
“It’s an absolutely huge start to the year for me. Last year I didn’t win any titles. I don’t think I was in any finals except Brisbane. The change is dramatic, and it feels great,” Federer told ATP website.
“For me, the dream run continues,” Federer said. “I’m not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Federer on Saturday had continued his strong run of formby handily defeating American Jack Sock in the tiebreaker 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to set up the showdown against Wawrinka in the final.
Federer had routed arch-rival Rafael Nadal of Spain in the round of 16 and earlier on Saturday, the third-ranked Wawrinka had made quick work of Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta, defeating him 6-3, 6-2, to reach his first Indian Wells final.
Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday, in the women’s final Russia’ Elena Vesnina beat countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 for the trophy.
The 30-year-old Vesnina had been unable to make it past the tourney’s third round in singles, but she beat the number two seeded Angelique Kerber, and Venus Williams (No. 12) this time around to advance to the final.