Federer’s 81st title (23rd Masters 1K), his route:
2 Leonardo Mayer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(7) – 5 m.p.
3 Roberto Bautista 6-4, 6-2
Q Julien Benneteau 7-6(4), 6-0
S Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4
W Gilles Simon 7-6(6), 7-6(2)
“Well, it just makes me very happy winning here because this tournament means a lot to me,” said Federer. “I’ve always enjoyed coming here. I’ve come close a couple of times, but I’ve always wanted to win it as a Masters 1000. I feel unbelievable prestige to win this event. Especially putting my hands on the trophy for the first time is a good feeling, I must say. I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. Overall I’m just extremely happy right now.”
In the 24-year-old history of the ‘Masters 1K’ events, for the fourth time the champion fights off a match point in his opening round, when it happened in 2003 as Lleyton Hewitt triumphed at Indian Wells saving three match points vs Younes El Aynaoui in the first round, one of those MPs Hewitt saved hitting the intersection of the siedeline & the baseline, so he was a few centimeters from elimination; Federer was also a few as Mayer’s passing-shot on first match point hit the netcord and the ball stayed on his side (Federer couldn’t get it if had went over).
List of ‘Masters 1K’ champions:
27 – Rafael Nadal (2005-2014)
23 – Roger Federer (2002-2014)
19 – Novak Djokovic (2007-2014)
17 – Andre Agassi (1990-2004)
11 – Pete Sampras (1992-2000)
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