Djokovic retains Indian Wells title


Published: Monday 23rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Roger Federer went the way of Andy Murray as Novak Djokovic beat him to win the BNP Paribas title at Indian Wells.

World number one Djokovic dropped just five games in beating Murray in the semi-finals on Saturday and although Federer fared better in a 6-3 7-6 6-2 loss, another trophy is being inscribed with the Serbian’s name.

This was a successful defence of the title he beat Federer to a year ago and puts the two men level on four Indian Wells crowns each.

Aside from that, Djokovic is in such frightening form that it is hard to see who can stop him in 2015, although that may change with the clay-court season and the French Open just around the corner.

For now, though, he remains the stand out player in a field that was once considered to have four men at the head of it.

He and Federer – the 17-time grand slam champion – could not be separated early on but Djokovic soon found a way into the match.

At 3-2 up and on serve he went a break clear, a brilliant backhand passing shot forcing Federer to stick out a racket and dump the ball in the tramlines.

That was all the Australian Open champion needed in the opener and duly served out for a 6-3 set win.

He struck earlier in the second, breaking in the third game when Federer slapped a forehand into the net, and even when he gave his opponent a rare chance on his own delivery he saved two break points in the next game.

It was an uphill struggle for Federer, who earned credit for saving a break point that would have pretty much finished things off in the seventh game, and he went on to earn break points of his own in the next.

A fabulous forehand saved the first, but when Djokovic double-faulted he gave Federer a second and he was forced into pinning a one-hander of his own into the net to restore parity.

Fired up, Federer quickly backed up the break and thought he had a window on Djokovic’s next service game as he got to deuce, but he was quickly shut down.

Federer was in control now, though, and made it count in the tie-break.

He first went long with an open-court forehand volley, giving Djokovic a mini break, but quickly got one of his own, although when he planted an overhead into the net – a weak spot on the day – he was 5-3 down.

But back he came, Djokovic blinking first after an epic rally and hitting a passing shot into the tape, before double faulting to 5-5.

Amazingly he followed that up with another double-fault, meaning when he went long on the next point, Federer was back on terms at 1-1.

Djokovic shrugged off the disappointment, rattling off two games to quickly build an early 2-0 lead in the decider, but Federer produced then a superb game to break back.

The Serbian’s reaction was to smash his racket, thus eliciting a warning from the umpire.

After cooling off, the world number one held then broke – a double fault from Federer was a gift in the sixth game – before upping his concentration levels further to pull three games clear.

The final game was procedural and after two hours and 17 minutes on court, Djokovic was crowned king in the Californian desert once again.

At the trophy ceremony both players expressed a keen desire to cross paths again during the Grand Slam season.

Federer told Sky Sports 3: ” I would like to congratulate Novak on a great final and a wonderful tournament.

“It’s a great start to the season and I hope we can play some more this year.”

Djokovic added: ” Tough luck Roger, it was a great tournament and you’re a great champion and great competitor.

“It was a pleasure playing against you and, as you said, hopefully we can play some more this year.”

Published: Monday 23rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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