Federer Wins Indian Wells for a Record 4th Time

Alleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez! JesusFed is back baby! With his 7-6(7), 6-3 victory over Isner in the Indian Wells final Roger once again enters the record books. He becomes the first man to win Indian Wells four times after he was tied with Connors and Chang on three titles each. After winning the title three straight times from 2004-2006, Roger didn’t pass the semis for the next five years. It has become a pretty tough event for him the last few years, especially with surfaces slowing down. But how impressive was this week from Roger?! He started the event with the flu and battled through both Raonic and Bellucci in three sets. He then had a much needed day off before coming back with bang and defeating Del Potro, Nadal, and Isner all in straight sets.

To come through such a tough draw with the illness on top of it is some feat at age 30. The Federer legend keeps growing. I was impressed with how Roger came back after his losses to Nadal and Isner by winning Rotterdam and Dubai, but I knew Indian Wells would be a different animal. It is just much slower conditions than Rotterdam and Dubai. To win it Roger would have probably had to go through Nadal and Djokovic on a surface that suits them both to the T. He did not have to face Djokovic in the end, but he did have to face Nadal. Isner was highly impressive in this tournament though, and it was fitting that Roger played against him after the Davic Cup loss. In the end I didn’t catch the rerun of the final, but I saw what I needed to see in the highlights.

I only caught the first few games where I saw that the wind was quite strong. And again Roger seemed to handle it very well with accurate hitting. Roger was holding serve easily in the first set, not facing any break points that I know of and holding to love on at least three occasions. In the tie break it was still close and at 7-7 Roger hit a backhand lob with Isner at the net that looked like a mishit. Isner let it go and it dropped on the base line. Call it what you like, but Roger is just an unstoppable force when in this kind of form. In the second set he broke Isner in the seventh game, and impressively did so again at 5-3 to win the title. Roger ended up out-acing Isner 7-4, like he often does with the big servers, and won 94% of his first serve points.

He also converted 2/3 break points. It was another Jesusfed performance. Isner is a very uncomfortable opponent but proved to be no match for the GOAT. This was Roger’s 73rd title and it ties him once again with Nadal at 19 Masters Series titles. It also means he has won 6 of the last 8 events he played and he has won 39 of his last 41 matches. After Djokovic lost in the semis you have to say Roger is now the hottest player on tour. Pretty amazing for a 30-year old. Roger is now only 825 points behind Nadal in the rankings. The gap is closing and Nadal has a final to defend in Miami, while Roger has a semi to defend and could possibly win the title. The Miami draw also came out today and Roger’s draw looks better than in Indian Wells.

Although he gets Harrison in the second round, I don’t see him giving Roger much problems when he is in this form. Then he has his soon to be ostrich(20+ difference in head-to-head) Roddick. In the fourth round it looks like Monfils, and in the quarters it could be any one of Fish, Anderson, and Almagro. This time Roger is in Djokovic’s half. Djokovic doesn’t quite look like the player he was last year to me. He is still very good but there is something subtle missing from his game. With the form Roger is in he could take advantage of that. If Roger makes the final he will probably face Nadal or Murray, and he has now beaten both of them recently. If Roger wins the Indian Wells/Miami double at this age it would be something very special, but I don’t have any expectations really.

Winning Indian Wells is much more than I expected, but at the same time I want Roger to continue this roll he is on. Making semis only would almost be a disappointment with the rich vein of form he is in. Having said that, Miami hasn’t been the happiest hunting ground for Roger historically. He managed to win the event only twice, and I judt feel like the conditions doesn’t suit him quite as well. I think Murray could have a good run here after his second round loss in Indian Wells. He could take out Nadal and make the final. Anyway I just love that Roger is playing so well and that he has a real chance of winning Miami. It just makes the event that much more exciting to watch. Stay tuned, I plan a a post reviewing Indian Wells. I have a lot more to say…

But for now I hope you are still enjoying this awesome title!

Highlights:

Interview:

Prize Giving Ceremony: 

 

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31 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an!

    Great post, by the way!

    After watching the Fedal Match, I must admit that Federer did learn something from Australia. He is consciously trying to pin Nadal in his backhand. In fact, there were 5-6 key points that Nadal made errors becauce he was pounded by Federer. It is true that wins are never easy against him, and that the wind favoured Federer today. I was very surprised when I heard on TV that Nadal is the better wind player than Federer. Not true – actually it’s the other way around.

    Anyway, Fed has a very interesting prospect now to actually leapfrog Nadal to get to number 2. Wouldn’t that be interesting? And if the draws align, who knows! Maybe it will be Djokovic and Nadal grinding it out in the semis? And then hopefully we’ll have A Djokovich – Federer final – at Wimbledon?! That very same thought is just dreamy right now, but not impossible!

    That is why Federer must go back to work – try (no pressure or must win, like in IW) but try to win again while riding the momentum. Actually it will be interesting to see the draw. Maybe I kinda want Djokovich in the semis now, for a change.
    (UPDATE: Federer is with Djokovich)

    And then after Miami, I think Federer will pull another BRILLIANT trick out of the bag – namely, taking a STRATEGIC 5 week break just BEFORE the HEART of the SEASON! He will be fresh, CONFIDENT, rested and READY!!!

    Just when Djokovich and Nadal will be busy in April, Roger will be at the beach somewhere. And then – MADRID – actually I am looking forward VERY much to this Masters 1000 event – it will be played on Blue clay and who knows! What if Roger wins therer – which is not impossible, looking in his record for the past 3 years (Winner,Runner-Up, SF) and that can be another twister. I just love how the season is unfolding. I am kinda discounting Murray here (unless he shows me something special in Miami) and it will be a 3-men race this year!!!

    Ru-an, I’d like to get your input on this and the way this season is unfolding. I strongly feel that Federer is now very comfortables in beating Tsonga, Berdych, Isner, Del Potro – guys that used to give him trouble. Plus, he has closed the gap on the top 2.

    He distanced himself from Murray, he beat Nadal… don’t you think it’s time to show Djokovich who is boss? I think a Miami SF with Djokovich has about 85-90% certainty of happening unless of course Djokovich falls before that.

    :-)

    Go Roger!!!

    Current score: 1

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    veronica Reply:

    Just LOVE your comments, Vily!!

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  2. This is very exciting time for all tennis fans and especially Federer fans. This guy is just a blessing to watch and follow. He is an artist, an outstanding athlete anf finnaly become a great chess player. Watch out the Tennis world is going for a Federer ride that will only stop with the calender grand slam, 8 wimbeldon titles, 6 usopens, 5 australian opens and more rolland garros glory.

    an overexcited and proud Fed fan

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  3. And God said, let there be blistering wind with gloom of rain. Let pestilence and disease run rampant upon this blasphemy—this fake desert oasis made by the gall of mere men! Lo! And behold! the fevers rage, and the bellies roil. And hark! the hacking coughs defile and rend the once sweet air…. Oh see how the mighty have fallen! Oh see how they swoon! One by one are they cursed! Yet who among you is strong and blessed? Who among you is the best!… And when it was over, God saw Roger standing last and tall, and all alone, his mortal brow shining, crowned with laurel under the dappled sun. And God smiled, and said it was Good…. Yes, all is right with the world once again. And soon the desert will warm, and soon it will bloom. Just as it always has, and always will. Just like the Maestro will bloom again…. I’m feeling rather Biblical today. And why not? What a glorious performance by the Swiss Magician at Indian Wells! Only he has lifted this trophy four times now. Only he and a dour Spaniard have garnered 19 Masters titles. And speaking of the moody Majorcan—wasn’t he supposed to be the man of steel? The one standing firm against the onslaught of the elements, against the tempest and the bursts of rain. Yet it was only the mighty Federer who towered against the gale. Sweet justice! The Maestro simply sailed through the gusts, tacking beautifully, never fighting Zephyrus. Nadal, meanwhile, merely wilted in the wind. For here was something his obsessive-compulsive nature could not control. How could this be! you could almost hear him silently screaming—I am the youth here! I have the easy draw, the perfect slow court, and an ailing opponent, no less! And he is supposed to cower before me! In desperation, he tried one of his usual cheap, stalling tricks. Yes, it was time for a pee! Then a request to the Chair for a rain delay on match point! After only a few sprinkles! And the umpire agreed! But none of it worked. For it was all preordained. The mighty Fed simply waited patiently, then calmly slipped the dagger in with a resounding ace. And all the Sullen Spaniard could do was slink off the court, with an ever-darkening scowl…. After this masterly performance by Roger, I knew there was no way he would lose to that one-note giant called Isner. And so it was. Just like with Nadal, the Maestro played a smart, controlled match, employing his sublime array of shots to great effect, constantly keeping the plodding American off-balance. He even out-aced this supposed titan, leaving little doubt about the eventual outcome. It was another imperious Federer victory—Roger didn’t even lose a point on his serve in the second set until he broke Isner to go up 4-3. It was all so prosaic, so routine…. The Maestro has now won six of his last eight tournaments. So much for his detractors’ refrain of “he can only win on inside hard courts.” And suddenly, Miami looms. If Fed wins that, watch out! Then you’ll know this is all for real. Then you’ll know that he will win another slam or two. Of course, if this happens, the Fed-haters will quickly proclaim that we have, in the twinkling of an eye, reverted back to another weak era! since Nadal and the Djoker must obviously be nursing mysterious maladies which give Roger an unfair advantage. God knows what else they’ll come up with, as they vainly try to ignore the obvious—that a regal presence is in their midst, and always has been, and always will be.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Awesome comment Balthazar. Rising to the occasion I see ;-)

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    Vily Reply:

    It’s like Saruman from The Lord of the RINGS!: “Too long have these PEASANTS stood against you, but no more!” LOVE that line!

    Anyway, after seeing the draw today and seeing the potential SF with Djokovich – I am so pumped now. As I am sure Roger is – he wants to punish the guy who started all of this. All this ROARING from the great LION KING ROGER was all started by the infamous “LUCKY shot”! TIME FOR REVANGE!!!

    COME ON!!!!

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    Candace Reply:

    Wow…thisis PURE POETRY!—

    “Only he and a dour Spaniard have garnered 19 Masters titles. And speaking of the moody Majorcan—wasn’t he supposed to be the man of steel? The one standing firm against the onslaught of the elements, against the tempest and the bursts of rain. Yet it was only the mighty Federer who towered against the gale. Sweet justice! The Maestro simply sailed through the gusts, tacking beautifully, never fighting Zephyrus. Nadal, meanwhile, merely wilted in the wind.”

    +10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

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    veronica Reply:

    Balthazar, GLORIOUS!!!! Thanks for providing us a moment longer to savour these sweet satisfying Fed victories!

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    Dave Reply:

    Great writing man, these comments I look foward to.

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Thanks Ruan for your excellent post and, Balthazar, for your sublime response to it. Balthazar, your musing on the recent events shows a vision that I’d like to compare with the magi’s visionary insight into the meaning of a new star that appeared in the zenith of Bethlehem, whom they recognized as the star of the “King of the Jews”. Roger is, it’s true, not a new star, but he is for sure the king of tennis.

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  4. I am ecstatic that Roger is back. I have never seen him hit the topspin BH with such confidence and authority…not since 2006. I am happy that Nadal is on the other half of the draw in Miami and maybe someone else can take him out, possibly Isner, who is in Rafa’s half. I believe Roger can beat Djoker when he’s in JesusFed mode. What a past month for us Fed fans!!

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    veronica Reply:

    YES he can, Candace!!

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  5. Ru-an, great post. Really appreciate you covering IW eventhough you may not have seen all the matches completely. Speaks a lot about your dedication to your readers, eh?!! I look forward to your final thoughts about IW. It’s a great time for all Fed fans right now. Let’s revel in these victories and not allow the future to rob us of our present happiness (like worrying whether slam success would follow). As most of us agree, Fed is on to something and that provides great hope and faith. If 17 happens, this blog will explode; if it doesn’t, this blog will slug on with Fed; each of us coming together with our dim light or battered faith, to hold it all together. Either way, we are for the long haul; just like Fed is. Thanks Ru-an. I never knew that being a Fed fan can be so fulfilling and meaningful until I found this blog.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Veronica :-)

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  6. I know I have nothing to lose when I write a guarantee, but I did guarantee he’d win. This is the second wind we have been waiting for. Gosh, it’s good to have wisdom, isn’t it? He wants that Gold more than anything. GO FED!!!!!!!! Keep it up, and thank you for a very entertaining 2 weeks. G

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  7. He always said that he wanted his two girls to watch him on the court, winning. Seems to give him this extra motivation back. A legend of a player, still on a mission! I love his final words to the crowd: “See you guys next year again!”

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  8. Ruan, you complete Federer’s victories.. Reading ur thoughts, analysis makes Federer’s victories more sweet, makes me feel proud to be a Federer aficionado. I see that the body language of Federer has changed dramatically since his loss to Isner in davis cup. Its almost like he has said to himself- thats it, i’m not losing matches to any1 again.. Love to see him being ruthless in a gentleman way!!!

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    veronica Reply:

    Yes, Fed has completely different body language CONSISTENTLY in all his matches in past few tournaments. Before when he was trying to get out of his funk, the positive body language ebbs and flows within and between matches/tournaments. But not now, not recently anyway. Things are coming together for Fed : his physical game has grown(ferocious backhand, better returns, defence, clutch serving, etc) and his mentality (fire/determination in his eyes, verbal common’s, calmness, desire, focus, etc) all point to one direction : TMF is INDEED back. And I am confident that this time it’s for real; which doesn’t mean he will not struggle against the top dogs but it does mean he is more ready and willing, mentally and physically, to fight (and win) when he steps on the court.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree totally with you Veronica. It’s amazing how when you win something, all of a sudden anything is possible. Everyone here said that ot would be better if Federer just IW and Miami?! And now, people are starting to talk about the Federer IW-Miami Double. That hasn’t been done like in 6 years. I mean the last guy that did that was like… what’s his name… Oh I remember – it was ROGER FEDERER!!! (LOL). And not only once – but twice. Dare I say – a third time. But let’s not be too greedy although I must admit I haven’t felt that confident about Roger’s chances in a long time. Anyway!!! Go Roger!!!

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    Duarte Reply:

    Just to correct but Djokovic was the last man to win the IW_Miami double last year.

    I’m really happy with how Roger’s playing. Just hope he doesn’t overdo it. He should rest after Miami and not play Monte Carlo. Although based on some calculations I’ve done it will be extremely tough for Roger to get back to #2 if he doesn’t play MC.

    HOPP Roger!!!

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    Duarte Reply:

    Meant, “Although based on some calculations I’ve done it will be extremely tough for Roger to get back to #2 BEFORE RG if he doesn’t play MC.”

    Of course he still has a great chance in the remainder of the year to get to #2 and #1 but one can imagine how sweet it would be for Roger to be the #2 seed at RG and djokovic and nadal to fall in the same half!!!

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    Vily Reply:

    I think it is key for Roger to REST after Miami. He has played a LOT of matches and he is mentally stable (according to him) but if he ends up winning Miami as well it will be great to just relax and take it easy. The pressure will start building on him to keep the streak alive, etc. And he doesn’t need or want that. In fact, after the break, I’d love him to take Madrid but then lose in like the early rounds of Rome to take a breather before RG. I don’t want a perfect season. I just want an amazing season. But part of his GREAT Success has been taking these breaks in the middle of the season to rest and regroup. And the way he is playing now, I doubt that a 5 week break will make him lose his touch. After all he did that after the WTF and he still played great at the beginning of this year. So, yes, totally take a break after Miami – win or lose. Well, hopefully win! :-)

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    veronica Reply:

    Yes, Vily, taking wise breaks is key to Roger’s success. He should switch it off and hibernate till Madrid.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Probably the best yes. He could pick up points at Monte Carlo but he has played a lot of late and made enough points. MC isn’t mandatory either.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you :-)

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    Anoop Pai B Reply:

    how wonderful was it of Roger to play Rotterdam. i thought it was nothing short of genius. he played a tournament where he started as the favourite but victory wasnt a foregone conclusion; where there were top 10 players but no other person from top 4; where he had to play well to win, but didnt have to get involved in a tug of war, and it boosted his confidence and self belief to a great heights. it meant that he got into Dubai with a headstart and helped him in his victory there, which inturn provided him with a platform to succeed here.
    it just makes me happy and proud that i stood by him (so did many) when he wasnt playing all that well.. it is not just a tennis victory, but also a victory of our faith in Roger!!!1

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  9. HEY GUYS DON` YOU THINK DJOKOVIC IS IN VERY BIZZARE FORM COMPARED TO LAST YEAR?aS rUAN SAID -SOMETHING SUBTLE IS MISSING.gUESS WHAT IT IS?
    tHE SPACE EGG OFFCOURSE!!! :-)
    HIS FORM STARTED TO DECLINE SOMWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAST SUMMER AND TILL AO HE LOOKED COMPLETELLY HUMAN -HE GOT MORE AND MORE EASILY TIRED DURING LONG MATCHES (VS. MURRAY AND nADAL)AND ALL THAT DECLINE IS SHAPE STARTED EXCTLY WHN MEDIA STARTED REVEALING WHAT HIS FOWM WAS BASED ON.FORGET HIS DIET THIS SPACE EGG WAS THE REASON FOR HIS TERMINATOR GAME.FOR SOME REASONS HES IS NOT USING IT SO OFTEN OR HAVE STOPPED DOING IT ATT ALL.MAYBE HAD A WARNING FROM OFFICIALS?SEEMS LIKE WHEN NADAL COULDNT WINN NOTHING IN 2009 AFTER AO AND HE STARTED LOOSING BODY MUSCLES AND WEIGHT AND TILL WTF LOOKED SO HUMAN AND EVERYONE THOUGH HE GOT COUGHT DOPING BUT BECAUSE OF HIS STATUS THEY COULDNT ANNOUNE IT OR BAN HIM FROM THE SPORT OFFICIALLY.SO I GUESS FED HAS LOT BETTER CHANCE NOW (HE STILL HAS THEM EVEN IF DJOKO VISITS THE EGG ANYWAY :-)
    GO FEEEEED!!!!

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  10. Thanks for all your kind comments, guys and gals. And thank you, Ruan, for providing the best forum for devoted Fedfans.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    At your service my dear sir :-)

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  11. Ruan, what a lovely post! Love so many of your words; don’t know which ones to quote here! You couldn’t have said it any better! How long does it take you to do a post? There is such clear- headedness in your writing; nothing muddled; orderly, straightforward, beautifully summarised and your criticisms and comparisons of other players to Roger are just classic – you express yourself so well and makes me laugh sometimes. Keep it up! WHATEVER, Ru-an, Roger WON, that’s all! Imagine if he had lost; we would be talking very differently now. Bottom line : Fed has been humbled (a very long journey for him) and has starred truth in the face; hence all these little but concrete progresses we see in him now. He is on his way, no worries.

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    veronica Reply:

    Sorry, guys, this comment should be in Ru-an’s latest post. I’ll repost it there.

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