Indian Wells – final

(3)Novak Djokovic d. (1)Rafael Nadal  4-6, 6-3, 6-2
(2:25 h)

It was a highly anticipated final, on the one side of the net Nadal – the best player in the world, two-time Indian Wells champion, hungry to get a title because hasn’t won any for five months (long period for his standards); on the other side of the net Djokovic – the hottest player on tour this year, the most serious contender to replace Nadal at the top of the ATP ranking. In the 1st set Nadal impressed a lot, was attacking the net quite frequently, finishing the points with backhand volleys, his shots were flatter (82 cm average clearance, Djokovic 11 cm higher), and solid in service games (albeit lost his serve once). The Serb raised the level of his game in the 2nd set, broke Nadal to lead 4:2, a moment later lost his own serve but broke again to lead 5:3 (Nadal had only 25% of 1st serves in the set!!). The 9th game was crucial (“It was just the question of momentum,” noticed Djokovic afterwards, “I managed to hold that very important game at 5-3 and then I was on a roll“) – Nadal got a break point after saving three set points – Djokovic fought it off with a forehand winner on the line and won the game after numerous ‘deuces’. Nadal probably gave everything in that game, hoping to clinch the win in straight sets because at the beginning of the 3rd set, seemed out of gas, Djokovic notched in total a 6-game winning streak,  had even 30-15 on Nadal’s serve at 4:0. The Spaniard saved his honor avoiding a bagel, but couldn’t do much more and after 2 hours 25 minutes, D’Joke converted the first match point to celebrate his 20th consecutive win, eighth win over Nadal, but the first one in a final (Nadal won their five previous finals) and the first one coming back from a one-set-to-love deficit. “I am playing with a lot of confidence,” said Djokovic, “I’m feeling the ball well on the court. I’m very dedicated. I have a big will to win each match I’m playing on, so it will not stop here, definitely. I want to keep on going and keep on playing good tennis. Hopefully I can recover and get ready for Miami.” Djokovic’s 21st career title (6th ‘Masters 1000’), he joins David Nalbandian and Nikolay Davydenko as the third player to beat  Nadal and Federer in the same tournament on two occasions. Below the complete list of tournaments in which Nadal and Federer were beaten by one player (in the parenthesis their ranking at the time):

2007: MontrealDjokovic (2 – Nadal, 1 – Federer); Madrid Nalbandian (2 – Nadal, 1 – Federer) & Paris (1 – Federer, 2 – Nadal)
2009: US OpenDel Potro (3 – Nadal, 1 – Federer); London Davydenko (2 – Nadal, 1 – Federer)
2010: DohaDavydenko (1 – Federer, 2 – Nadal); Toronto Murray (1 – Nadal, 3 – Federer)
2011: Indian Wells Djokovic (2 – Federer, 1 – Nadal)

Doubles final:
Alexandr Dolgopolov/Xavier Malisse d. Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-7(5), [10-7]

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