Novak Djokovic claims record fifth Indian Wells title

Published: Sunday 20th March 2016 by The News Editor

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Novak Djokovic cruised to a record fifth BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells with a one-sided 6-2 6-0 victory over Canadian Milos Raonic.

World number one Djokovic, who lost only three points on his serve in the second set, despatched Raonic in 88 minutes to draw level with Rafael Nadal on 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles.

The 28-year-old secured his third title of the season after triumphs in Doha and at the Australian Open. His success follows previous Indian Wells title wins in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Raonic, playing in his first event since the Australian Open following an adductor tear that had ruled him out since February, left the court for treatment after the first set, which lasted 43 minutes.

The Canadian could not halt Djokovic’s momentum in the second and was broken three times with t he Serb pocketing $1,028,300 in prize money.

Earlier, Victoria Azaranka paid tribute to Serena Williams after upsetting the world number one 6-4 6-4 to secure her biggest win since claiming the Australian Open crown in 2013.

Azarenka withstood a second-set fightback from Williams, who had reduced the deficit in the final set to 5-4 having trailed 4-0 and 5-1, to hold her serve in the final game and seal victory with her first match point.

Williams had last year ended a 13-year boycott of the tournament – in protest at alleged racist comments to father Richard from the crowd in 2001 – and was never at her best, making 33 unforced errors compared to her 22 winners.

Azarenka, up to eighth in the rankings and back in the top 10 for the first time since August 2014, spoke after the match and was quoted on the WTA’s website as telling Williams she had helped change the women’s game.

“I know how emotional it was for you to be back here and you inspired so many people by your commitment to the game,” Azarenka said.

“You’re an amazing competitor. You changed our game. Honestly, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have worked so hard to be better. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Williams said she was grateful to the crowd after receiving her runner-up trophy.

“Thank you for the support,” she said. “It was really hard, the last moment I had here wasn’t the greatest moment, so thank you so much.

“Thank you so much for the cheers, I can’t even begin to tell you what it means.”

Published: Sunday 20th March 2016 by The News Editor

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