Open Tennis Indian Wells
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic captured his 50th tour-level title on Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as he lifted the BNP Paribas Open trophy for the fourth time with a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 victory over Roger Federer.
The 27-year-old Djokovic is the 12th player in the Open Era to win 50 titles, eclipsing his coach, Boris Becker, on 49 trophies. He was later presented with a celebratory cake.
"I believe that I have to earn everything that I do, and this title today, as well, " said Djokovic. "I appreciate every moment that I spend on the court. Of course the milestone that I achieved today was a great motivation for me prior to this event."
Watch Final Highlights
Having not lost a set en route to the championship match, the top-seeded Djokovic was taken the distance by Federer, who fought back from a set and a break down in the pair’s 38th meeting to create a thrilling climax to the final. But, having lost to Federer last month in the Dubai final, Djokovic was out for revenge and took it in style as he claimed victory in two hours and 17 minutes.
"It's great that I managed to win this match in the big tournament and to win it in a way that I felt like I was the better player on the court, " said Djokovic. "That definitely will help. It's going to give me confidence, not just for future matches that I play against him, but just for Miami and the rest of the season."
Djokovic took advantage of an error-strewn first set from Federer. After being denied on a break point in the fourth game, the Serb earned three more opportunities at 0/40 on Federer’s serve in the sixth game. Federer rallied to deuce, but Djokovic created another chance and converted as Federer volleyed long.
Djokovic went on to seal the 32-minute opener, hitting just six unforced errors to Federer’s 13. The right-hander tellingly dropped just four points on serve.
Federer engineered his first break point of the match in the second game of the second set, but was thwarted and paid the price in the following game as Djokovic broke for a 2-1 lead, capitalizing when Federer smashed long and then put a forehand in the net. Federer had chances to recoup the break in the fourth game, but Djokovic was again too solid on serve.
But Federer’s mounting pressure on Djokovic ultimately told in the eighth game. Having saved a break point himself in the seventh game, the Swiss finally broke down Djokovic’s defenses, pushing the Serb back to draw the error and level at 4-4. It was to a standing ovation that Federer walked back to his chair after holding for 5-4.
Double faults cost Djokovic dearly in the subsequent tie-break. Twice the Serb led by a mini-break and twice he double faulted to hand it back. At 5-5 he committed his third double fault of the breaker and Federer made no mistake as he snatched the second set.
Djokovic didn’t let the disappointment last long, though. He came out focused at the start of the third set and immediately broke Federer for a 2-0 lead. But Federer hit back once again, converting his fifth break point of the game to get back to 2-1.