Roger Federer’s excellent start to 2017 continued as he claimed the Indian Wells Masters title by beating Stan Wawrinka on Sunday night.
Federer won 6-4 7-5 to register a fifth championship at the California tournament, to add to the Australian Open trophy that kick-started his year.
Seeded ninth, 36-year-old Federer again belied his years and beat his Swiss compatriot Wawrinka for the 15th consecutive time on a hard court.
The match began at breakneck speed, the hard court enabling both players to play aggressively. Wawrinka’s power translated well, but not as well as Federer’s guile.
Federer did not concede a point on his first two service games, but Wawrinka was also dominating his own and was 4-3 behind when he hit a smash that disappeared into the blue sky.
The first break opportunity came with Federer leading 5-4, and he ruthlessly pounced by edging a nervy rally.
Wawrinka responded brilliantly, a vicious forehand earning a break in the first game of the second set. But it was short-lived, as Federer broke to draw level at 2-2 with excellent use of his piercing forehand.
In a repeat of the opening set, Federer broke Wawrinka’s final service game and the reward was even greater. At 6-5 up, he cranked the pressure onto his compatriot’s serve, and raced to the net to volley the winning point.