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Indian Wells, U.S.A.© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic downed Roger Federer for a second straight year in the BNP Paribas Open final.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic retained the BNP Paribas Open title with a tight three-set victory over World No. 2 Roger Federer, renewing their fierce rivalry in the Indian Wells final for a second year in a row.
Most recently, Federer beat Djokovic in straight sets in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, but the Serb would exact revenge, capturing his 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and 50th overall at the tour-level. He became the 11th player in the Open Era to reach the 50-titles milestone, passing coach Boris Becker. Djokovic also equaled Federer's record haul of four titles in the Coachella Valley.
FIRST SET – Djokovic 6-3
An overcast, breezy afternoon in the California desert would not deter fans from coming out in droves to witness a clash of titans, as Djokovic and Federer met for a second straight year on one of the ATP World Tour's biggest stages.
The Serb and the Swiss set the bar in the stratosphere with their thrilling 2014 final, won by Djokovic in a deciding tie-break, and Federer opened proceedings with revenge on his mind.
The 33 year old's serve came under fire immediately, with Djokovic crowding the baseline and sending an early message by grabbing a break point opportunity in the fourth game. Federer would counter the top seed's aggression with his own brand of first-strike tennis, holding for 2-2, but Djokovic snatched the elusive break in the next game behind a relentless barrage of quick, deep returns.
The Belgrade native was just as ruthless in his service games throughout the set, dropping a mere four of 24 points. The lone break was all he needed to capture the opener 6-3 in 32 minutes. In total, he fired seven winners and claimed six points of over nine shots.
Watch Final Hot Shot
SECOND SET – Federer 7-6(5)
Djokovic boasts a 37-1 record when claiming the first set in ATP World Tour finals and the defending champion looked to once again capitalise on the momentum from a strong opener.
A 125 mph serve out wide staved off a break point in his first service game of the second set as Federer netted a backhand down the line. To say Djokovic was dominant on serve would be an understatement, as the World No. 1 won his first 21 first-serve points, refusing to yield an inch to his rival.
One of the keys to Federer's plan of attack against Djokovic over the years has been an efficient serve-and-volley game, shortening points and not allowing the Serb to dictate off the ground. But an incessant attack against Federer's serve would not give the Swiss time to execute his preferred tactic in the early stages.
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