Roger Federer won the 2017 BNP Paribas Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory Sunday over Stan Wawrinka in Indian Wells, California.
According to Tennis magazine's Ed McGrogan, Federer last won the BNP Paribas Open and Australian Open together in 2006, and much has changed on the ATP World Tour since then:
Ed McGrogan @EdMcGrogan
Federer last won AO+IW in ‘06 d. Haas—now tournament director—in AO 4R d. Ljubicic—now coach—in IW QFs d. Blake—now commentator—in IW Final2017-3-19 21:49:33
The Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur enjoyed seeing Federer continue to stay at the top of men's tennis:
Bruce Arthur @bruce_arthur
God I love that Roger Federer is still winning tournaments at age 35. What a master.2017-3-19 23:11:47
Yelp's Carl Bialik tracked Federer's success against those far younger than him:
Carl Bialik @CarlBialik
Titles at Grand Slams/Masters/World Tour Finals 2/8/1 Roger Federer since turning 30 0/0/0 All men born 1989 or later, combined careers.2017-3-19 23:15:42
Consistency was the biggest key for Federer as he upset his Swiss compatriot. He constantly kept Wawrinka on his toes from the baseline and didn't give Wawrinka any openings on serve.
Federer won 78 percent of his first-service points and 67 percent of his second-service points, compared to 70 percent and 39 percent, respectively, for Wawrinka, per the BNP Paribas Open website. Wawrinka also double-faulted three times to Federer's one double-fault.
Neither player lost serve for the first nine games of the opening set, and neither player had even surrendered a break-point opportunity. In the 10th game, Wawrinka slipped and Federer took the set, 6-4.
A pivotal moment in the game came as Wawrinka was serving at 30-15. He hit a first serve to Federer's backhand the chair umpire ruled out. Federer also held his hand up to indicate the serve was wide.
Replays subsequently showed the serve was in by the slightest of margins, but Wawrinka opted against challenging the call. As the Guardian's Andrew Jerell Jones noted, Wawrinka seemingly took Federer's word for it that the serve was out:
Andrew Jerell Jones @sluggahjells
Wawrinka didn't challenge that, and let Federer tell him that was slightly out. And now, set point Federer. #BNPPO172017-3-19 22:18:06
Wawrinka lost the next three points and the set. Tennis TV shared a replay of set point:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
That set point had everything 🙌 @rogerfederer takes first blood. #BNPPO17 https://t.co/yV1GtJsPxP2017-3-19 22:25:28
Wawrinka recovered quickly after the first set to take the first two games of the second. Federer reeled off three straight games, though, to take a 3-2 lead. ESPN's Trey Wingo argued the 18-time grand slam champion continues to age with grace:
trey wingo @wingoz
Federer is to tennis what Brady is to football. Older = better2017-3-19 22:24:29
Jose Morgado of Portuguese newspaper Record noted how Federer had dominated Wawrinka on hard court in their recent meetings:
José Morgado @josemorgado
Federer won 14 of the last 16 hardcourt sets vs Wawrinka. 3-2 from 0-2 in the 2nd.2017-3-19 22:43:21
Federer dealt Wawrinka a decisive blow in the 12th game of the second set. After holding serve to take a 6-5 lead, he watched Wawrinka hit a forehand long at 40-30 and then dump a backhand into the net to set up championship point.
Federer hit a forehand volley winner for the title, courtesy of Tennis TV:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
✅ 5th @BNPPARIBASOPEN title ✅ 25th @ATPWorldTour Masters 1000 title ✅ 90th @ATPWorldTour title @RogerFederer reigns! #BNPPO17 https://t.co/x89WbnZ1yf2017-3-19 23:13:59
Federer and Wawrinka will now shift their focus to the Miami Open, which begins Monday in Key Biscayne, Florida. The tournament is the last marquee ATP World Tour event before clay-court preparations go into full gear ahead of the French Open.
Tennis TV shared Federer's comments after the match:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
"It's been a fairytale week once again" @rogerfederer living the dream again at #IndianWells. #BNPPO17 https://t.co/0e0UftAkDu2017-3-19 23:27:03
Wawrinka was gracious in defeat.
"It's great to see Roger at this level again," he said, according to the tournament's official Twitter account. "I hope you stay here for a few years."
Federer now owns a 20-3 head-to-head advantage over Wawrinka, a point the runner-up alluded to as reason to go back to the drawing board, per the tournament's Twitter account: "I've beat [Federer] only a few times. I need to check in with myself to see what I need to do to play better against him."