World No. 1 Andy Murray? Former No. 1 Novak Djokovic? The heralded “Next Gen?”
Thirty-five-year old Roger Federer is the toast of the town in Indian Wells.
The Australian Open champ followed up by winning the first ATP Masters 1000 title of the year on Sunday at Indian Wells, defeating Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 for a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open title.
“It’s been just a fairy tale 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.”
Starting the year at No. 17 on the ATP rankings, he will on Monday rise to No. 6. He is No. 1 on the 2017 year-only standings. He is the oldest winner at a Masters 1000 event since 34-year-old Andre Agassi won the 2004 Cincinnati title.
In the first set Federer broke with Wawrinka serving at 4-5 for the set, but Wawrinka would take a 2-0 lead in the second before eventually succumbing.
Federer improved to 20-3 career against Wawrinka.
“He was playing really fast,” Wawrinka said. “He was staying on the line, trying to play fast from both sides. It was tough for me to really get into. He always had an answer. I had a few little opportunities that I could have maybe done better, but it wasn’t enough.”
Wawrinka said it was tough to lose, but he always roots for his GOAT countryman.
“I would like to congratulate Roger,” he said on court. “I lost a tough one against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was still your biggest fan. Anybody who knows tennis loves to watch you, so it’s always good to see you back at that level, hopefully for many years.”
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