The last few seasons has not been the most rewarding for Roger Federer. From semi final defeats at Australian Open and Wimbledon to missing out on the other two grand slams as well as the Rio Olympics and the ATP World Tour Finals due to injury, the Swiss ended the year at a disappointing 16th in the ATP rankings.
Making a comeback from injury at the Australian Open as the 17th seed, he went all the way at Melbourne in January. Federer added another to go by his record 18th slam down under by winning the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells defeating fellow Swissman Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the final yesterday.
“For me, the dream run continues,” he was quoted as saying. The 18 times Grand Slam winner kept reminding everyone during the ATP Masters 1000 event that he was “on the comeback” and wanting to see how he felt.
“This was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells. The goal was to be top 8 by or after Wimbledon, so I’m there much, much faster,” he further added. “I will make the plan for the remainder of the season, especially for the clay, after Miami, and then see also what the goals are because the goals are clearly changing after this dream start.”
The Swiss Maestro tied the tournament record of 5 titles of Novak Djokovic who lost in the fourth round. This was also the 90th career title for the champion keeping him third behind Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors on the all time list of the Open era.
At 35 years and 7 months, “Fedex” became the oldest player to win in history of the tournament in the “Californian Desert”, surpassing Jimmy Connors’ record of winning it at 31.
Playing superb tennis without dropping a single set throughout the tournament, Federer dropped his only service game of the championship in early second set of the final.
After a relatively easy first set, Wawrinka broke early in the second and threatened to comeback. But there was no stopping Roger, as he broke back courtesy of a few of the 23 winners(including 16 of his backhand) he hit during the final that spanned an hour and 20 minutes. Wawrinka on the contrary paid the price for his 21 unforced errors and was broken again in the second set to lose it 5-7.
After the match, the world number 3 and 3-times grand slam champion was all praise for his fellow Swissman.
“The way he’s playing is just so beautiful,” Wawrinka said.“Everything looks perfect. He’s moving amazingly well. He has amazing touch. He’s doing everything you can do on the tennis court. He’s the best player ever, so we are all used to lose against him”
Federer improved his head to head record with Stan to 20-3, including 15-0 on hard court. The GOAT won a prize money of total $1,175,505 and also jumped up 4 spots, breaking into the top six for the first time in 7 months.