Federer tops Wawrinka in all-Swiss Indian Wells final
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[March 20, 2017]
(Reuters) - A rejuvenated Roger
Federer beat fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 in the BNP Paribas
Open final on Sunday to earn a record-tying fifth Indian Wells title
and the distinction of being the tournament's oldest winner.
The 35-year-old Swiss, who made a stunning return from a six-month
injury layoff to win the Australian Open in January, capped an
impressive run in the California desert in which he did not lose a
"I have totally exceeded my expectations. My goal was to be top
eight by Wimbledon. This is just a dream start," Federer, who will
climb four spots to world number six on Monday, told Sky Sports
"I understand the talk about (me getting back to) world number one
with Andy (Murray) and Novak (Djokovic) not playing well and I'll
try to back it up. But this is my 90th (tour-level) title so I'll
try to enjoy this first."
The rematch of the Australian Open semi-final saw the close friends
hold serve until the 10th game of the opening set when Federer,
ahead 5-4, outlasted Wawrinka in a thrilling 21-shot rally for the
Wawrinka, making his first appearance in an Indian Wells final, came
out firing in the second set as he became the first player to break
Federer this fortnight and then saved a pair of break points in the
next game to move ahead 2-0.
But Federer never wavered as he coolly won the next three games and
then broke Wawrinka in the 12th game to close out the match in 80
On championship point, Federer jumped right on Wawrinka's serve and
quickly had his compatriot running back and forth along the
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.
[to top of second column]
Roger Federer (SUI) celebrates at match point as he defeated Stan
Wawrinka (not pictured) 7-6, 6-4 in the men's final in the BNP
Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit:
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
While the defeat left Wawrinka an emotional wreck, with the
teary-eyed U.S. Open champion calling himself Federer's "biggest
fan", the popular champion was left to soak up a standing ovation.
Federer now joins Djokovic as a five-time winner at the event and
becomes the oldest champion in the tournament's history, surpassing
Jimmy Connors who was 31 when he triumphed in 1984.
"I was very sad when I couldnít come here last year so just being
here is a beautiful feeling," Federer said during the trophy
"It's been just a fairytale week. I'm still on the comeback. I hope
my body is going to allow me to keep on playing.
"I came here for the first time 17 years ago so to be here again as
the champion is an amazing feeling. And I canít tell you enough what
it means to me."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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