Roger Federer won his fifth BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday, downing fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win a record-tying fifth Indian Wells title.
“It’s been just a fairytale week once again,” said Federer. “I’m still on the comeback. I hope my body is going to allow me to keep on playing. I was very sad when I couldn’t come here last year. Just being here is a beautiful feeling. It’s one of my favorite tournaments. I came here for the first time 17 years ago. So to be here again as the champion is an amazing feeling.”
The 35-year old continued his remarkable start to the 2017 season following his triumph at the Australian Open. He played near flawless tennis in the opening set, breaking Wawrinka on his only chance while winning 88 percent of his first serve points to win the first set.
Wawrinka responded to begin the second set, breaking early to build a 2-0 lead. But Federer was just too sharp, shaking off his only poor service game to win the next three games and take back the lead and the break advantage. He would break one more time while leading 6-5 to close out the match and improve to 14-1 on the season.
“He was playing really fast. He was staying on the line, trying to play fast from both sides. It was tough for me to really get into [the points],” said Wawrinka. “He always had an answer. I had a few little opportunities that I could have maybe done better, but it wasn’t enough.”
In the women’s singles final on Saturday, Elena Vesnina came back from the brink multiple times to upend fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open title.
“I was kind of fighting to just stay longer on the court, just don’t give it so easy,” Vesnina said of coming from behind. “I was telling myself, ‘You’re 4-1 down. Nothing to lose. Just fight for each game, try to win every point, and try to deserve every point, because she will not give you anything.”
Kuznetsova would win the opening set in a tiebreaker with a little help from a netcord winner on set point. The former world number two then raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second set and looked to be on the verge of winning the title.
But Vesnina would win the next five games to steal the second set, and would come back once again in the deciding third set, this time from 2-4 down, to complete the comeback and capture the Indian Wells crown.