Roger Federer Clinches 90th Title With Win Over Wawrinka In Indian Wells
Roger Federer has become only the third man in the Open Era to win 90 titles on the ATP Tour after battling past Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5, in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The highly anticipated final showdown lived up to it’s expectation from the onset with an outstanding service display from both players. Throughout the opening set Federer dropped just four points behind his serve, drawing admiration from the highly animated crowd. Wawrinka was also in sharp form with a series of blistering serves. With little separating the two, it was a controversial decision by the umpire that aided Federer to the first set.
As Wawrinka served at 15-30, his shot was called out by the umpire, who insisted that ball was ‘100% out’. Unknown to the US Open champion was that the hawk-eye system had actually concluded that the ball was in. A forehand error from Wawrinka followed, elevating Federer to the first break point of the match and also set point. Federer’s ability to limit that amount of time Wawrinka has on his shots proved pivotal on set point. Engaged in a thrilling 17-shot rally, the world No.3 succumbed by smashing a forehand shot into the net.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 19 March 2017
Wawrinka’s response to dropping the opening set was that of sheer determination. Treating the Californian crowd with an array of impressive shots from both the backhand and forehand side, an early break for a 2-0 lead revived his match chances. The early offensive by the current US Open champion was soon short lived after a tentative service game was rightfully punished by Federer, who broke back to level 2-2.
Federer’s ability to vary his shots once again regained his control in the match as Wawrinka was forced to keep guessing. A game away from victory, a roar erupted inside the stadium as the crowd cheered Federer on. On the other hand, Wawrinka had his own plans by using his power to level the second set at 5-5. Still the outcome of the match was never in doubt. Two games later a Wawrinka backhand error moved Federer to his first championship point. It was only one that he needed as the 18-time grand slam champion sealed victory with a glorious forehand volley at the net.
“It’s been just a fairytale week once again. I’m still on the comeback. I hope my body is going to allow me to keep on playing.” Said Federer.
“I was very sad when I couldn’t come here (Indian Wells) last year. Just being here is a beautiful feeling. It’s one of my favourite tournaments.” He added.
At the age of 35 years and seven months, Federer is the oldest man in history to win a Masters 1000 title. He achieved the accomplishment with the help of a 74% winning service rate, 23 winners and two aces.
Federer’s triumph comes at the expense of Wawrinka, who was clearly emotional following his 20th loss to his compatriot. The US Open champion has only ever won one Masters 1000 title at the 2014 Monte Carlo Open.
“I’m sorry, I’m just tired after ten days.” Wawrinka said as he fought back his tears.“I would like to congratulate Roger. He’s (Federer) laughing, he’s an ass-whole.” He then joked.
“I’ve lost some tough matches against you, but when you played in the final at Australia I was still your biggest fan.”
Federer has now won his 25th Masters 1000 title and is 6-0 against top-10 players this season. He now leads Wawrinka 20-3 in their head-to-head.