INDIAN WELLS, Mar 23: World No.1 Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to win his fourth BNP Paribas Open, tying with the Swiss maestro for the most titles after winning for the second straight year.
The world's top two men's players met for the 38th time on Sunday, second-most among rivalries in the Open era. Federer, 33, leads the series 20-18 and had won three of their last four meetings going into the fil.
Having lost to Federer last month in the Dubai fil, the Serb was out for revenge and took it in style as he claimed victory in two hours and 17 minutes.
"I was trying to really focus a lot on my serve because it was very important because he returns so well off the second serve," Federer said.
"He really plays everybody really tough when he returns off the second serve, and I think that's what also was tough today against him."
The 27-year-old Djokovic had the first break of the match on his fourth chance with Federer serving at 3-2 in the first set. Djokovic went on to seal the 32-minute opener, hitting just six unforced errors to Federer's 13.
The Serb broke again at 1-1 in the second set, which looked to be all that he needed to close out the contest. But Federer continued to put pressure on Djokovic, chipping and charging on his service returns.
Having saved a break point in the seventh game, the Swiss filly broke Djokovic, pushing the Serb back to draw the error and level at 4-4.
Double faults cost Djokovic dearly in the subsequent tie-break. At 5-5 he committed his double fault of the breaker and Federer made no mistake as he stched the second set.
The top seed rebounded in the third set with an early break and broke Federer for a 2-0 lead. But Federer hit back once again and tying up the match at 2-2. The Swiss double faulted to give Djokovic a 4-2 lead.
There were to be no more comebacks from Federer as Djokovic reeled off the last two games to win.
Djokovic captured his 50th tour-level title on Sunday as he lifted the BNP Paribas Open trophy. The Serb will take home $900,400 and 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts.
With 138 weeks at No. 1, he is now just three weeks away from tying dal for the sixth-most weeks at the summit of the ATP Rankings.
With Djokovic's victory, the Big Four won another ATP Masters 1000 crown. This means the quartet have now accounted for 40 of the last 44 ATP Masters 1000 tourments since 2010 Monte-Carlo. IANS