Roger Federer was so close to fifth Indian Wells title but today the 32-year-old was turned away by Novak Djokovic 36, 63, 76(3).
Federer came into the final winning his last 11 matches including a won over Djokovic two weeks ago in Dubai. And today’s match also went the distance.
Once Federer broke back at 5-5 in the third there was new hope for the Swiss who seemed out of it early in the set once Djokovic got into form and won the second. But unlike yesterday Djokovic was too strong in the final tiebreaker.
“It was an interesting end to the match, no doubt,” said Federer. “But I think he played well. At the end he made sure he kept the ball in play and I might have made a few too many errors when it really mattered. But I think he made a crucial sort of 20 minutes, half and hour midway through the second set and third set where things could have gone either way. But credit to him for toughening it out and winning that second set and getting the breaker in the third.”
Federer, who was so down last year, took plenty of positives from the week.
“A few weeks ago, months ago, a few people said I couldn’t play tennis anymore,” Federer said. “So for me I need to focus on my own game, my own routines, hard work, make sure I keep a good schedule for myself, for my family and enjoy it.
“At the same time, that fire, wanting to win, is important and right now I have that. I think I have a really good balance right now.”
And it’s been quite a change from a year ago when Federer was ailing with a back injury that derailed much of his season. Now, he says, he’s playing good tennis again.
“If you see the angle that last year was difficult, especially this time around last year in Indian Wells, that I’m able to turn it all around now and I’m really playing nice tennis,” Federer said. “I truly believe that playing good tennis it’s maybe sometimes a little easier to lose this way. Because I really did believe I was playing good tennis. It was a solid match. It was good also movement wise. My serve was around. It was an overall good performance.”
Federer added that he’ll head to Miami now and see how he feels about playing once he gets there – he’ll likely play he said.
“I got very, very close,” Federer said. “It’s encouraging for Miami and for the rest of the season, no doubt.”
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