Federer tops Wawrinka for 5th Indian Wells title
(TSX / STATS) -- Roger Federer has played in three tournaments this season, and he has now won two of them.
Federer, who captured the Australian Open in January, added the BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday by beating Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the finals in Indian Wells, Calif.
"It's been just a fairytale week once again," Federer said. "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."
Federer, the ninth seed in this event, improved his head-to-head record against Wawrinka to 20-3, including 15-0 on hard courts. Federer also beat Wawrinka, his close friend, in a five-set match in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
"I would like to congratulate Roger," a tearful Wawrinka said. "He's laughing, he's an (expletive), but it's OK. I've lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was your biggest fan. So congratulations on your comeback and congratulations on today."
The 35-year-old Federer had faced just one break point the entire tournament entering the final, and he did not give the third-seeded Wawrinka any break-point opportunities in the first set Sunday.
Federer got the only service break in the 10th game. He rallied from 15-30 down in that game to finish the set on his first break-point opportunity of the day. A long rally on set point resulted in a Wawrinka unforced error.
Wawrinka rebounded quickly, starting the second set with a service break. It was the first time Federer had been broken in 42 service games. Warwrinka then held serve in the 16-point second game to take a 2-0 lead.
However, Federer broke back in the fourth game to tie the set at 2-2, and both players held serve until Federer broke again in the decisive 12th game. Wawrinka had a 40-30 lead in that game, but Federer won the next three points, finishing off the victory on his first match-point opportunity.
It has already been a remarkable year for Federer, who endured a six-month injury layoff at the end of 2016 and only returned to tour-level action at this year's Australian Open.
This was Federer's fifth title at Indian Wells and was his 90th tour-level crown.
Updated March 19, 2017