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Nadal & Lopez claim doubles crown in Indian Wells
Former World No.1 Roger Federer maintained his superb recent form by lifting a record equalling 19th Masters 1000 shield at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 7-6(9-7), 6-3 victory over John Isner.
The 30 year-old Swiss player is the first player to win four Indian Wells titles – surpassing Jimmy Connors and Michael Chang – having won for three consecutive years between 2004 and 2006.
In blustery conditions at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden it was the 11th seeded American who had the first chances in the final with two break points against the Federer serve in the third game. However Isner looked understandably tight in the biggest final of his career and made two backhand errors.
From that point both players dominated on serve and, after Isner fended off a set point with a service winner in the twelfth game, the set went to a thrilling tie-break. Seven points went against the serve as both players struggled to pull away.
At 7-7 Isner crucially left a floated backhand from Federer which hit the baseline and the 3rd seed duly converted his fourth set point to seal the opener.
In the second set Federer broke through in the seventh game with two passing shot winners setting up break point which he converted when the giant American netted a backhand volley.
Having consolidated the break for 5-3 the World No.3 created a championship point in the ninth game by drilling a forehand to Isner’s feet at the baseline. The American netted one final forehand and after an hour and 21 minutes play Federer had a 73rd career title and a 15th consecutive victory in 2012.
Stat Attack – Federer
Stat Attack – Isner
World No.1 Victoria Azarenka stretched her impressive 2012 winning streak to 23 matches by defeating World No.2 Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-3 and winning her first BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The Australian Open Champion has now won four titles this year and has enjoyed the most successful start to a season on the WTA tour since 1997 when Martina Hingis won her first 37 matches.
After been two points from defeat in her opening match against Mona Barthel, Azarenka was in sparkling form in the Californian desert comfortably seeing off Julia Goerges, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber without the loss of a set to setup a repeat of the Melbourne final against Sharapova.
In the final, the top seed put Sharapova into serve and gained an immediate break. The Russian fended off a second break to get on the scoreboard in the third game but Azarenka gained a second break of serve with a booming forehand drive volley to lead 5-2.
Sharapova saved one set point in the eighth game with a forehand winner of her own before the Belarusian took the opener a point later after 40 minutes.
Azarenka continued the momentum into the second set and raced into a 3-0 double break lead. Sharapova struck back in the fourth game, only to lose her own serve again. However a stunning backhand winner up the line brought the Russian another break in the sixth game and she then came through a fiercely fought service game to close the gap to 3-4.
The World No.1 reacted with a comfortable hold of serve and then created two championship points a game later. A thrilling final rally ended when an attempted defensive lob from Sharapova landed long and Azarenka claimed her 12th career singles title after an hour and 26 minutes play.
Stat Attack – Azarenka
Stat Attack – Sharapova
World No.2 Rafael Nadal made up for the disappointment of losing to great rival Roger Federer in the singles semi-finals by claiming the men’s doubles crown in Indian Wells with compatriot Marc Lopez.
The unseeded Spaniards saw off big serving American’s Sam Querrey and singles finalist John Isner 6-2, 7-6(3) for their second title at Indian Wells (having also won in 2010) and fourth title as a team.
In the women’s doubles, top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond extended their 2012 winning streak to four tournaments and 16 matches with a 6-2, 6-3 final win over second seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina.
The veteran Americans had lost to the Indian/Russian pairing in the Australian Open quarter finals but avenged that loss with an impressive display in the Californian desert.
It gave Raymond a record seventh Indian Wells doubles title while surprisingly it was a first Indian Wells crown for World No.1 Huber who had not gone past the quarter finals in nine previous appearances.
World Tennis News will be back on Monday 2nd of April after the conclusion of the Sony Ericsson Open
3 – Federer, Ferrer
No.1 (9) Murray (Brisbane), Ferrer (Auckland, Buenos Aires, Acapulco), Djokovic (Australian Open), Berdych (Montpellier), Monaco (Vina del Mar), Federer (Rotterdam), Almagro (Sao Paulo) No.2 (1) Federer (Dubai)No.3 (4) Tsonga (Doha), Youzhny (Zagreb), Raonic (San Jose), Federer (Indian Wells)No.4 (2) Raonic (Chennai), Del Potro (Marseille)No.7 (1) Anderson (Delray Beach)Unseeded (1) Melzer (Memphis)Qualifier (1) Nieminen (Sydney)
77 - Nieminen (Sydney)
27 - Berdych (Montpellier)27 - Monaco (Vina del Mar) 27 – Ferrer (Acapulco)
64 – Melzer (Memphis)
15 – Federer (Won Rotterdam, Won Dubai, Won Indian Wells)
57 – Isner bt Nalbandian 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 (Australian Open, 2nd round)
12 games - 6-0, 6-0 on one occasion
3 – Anderson bt Roddick 2-6, 7-6(9), 6-4 (Delray Beach QF – 3mp 2nd set tie-break)
Raonic (Chennai) 21yrs and 13 days
Federer (Indian Wells) 30 years, 7 months & 23 days
307 - Raonic
4 – Azarenka
No.1 (2) Azarenka (Doha, Indian Wells)No.3 (4) Azarenka (Sydney, Australian Open ), Hantuchova (Pattaya City), Errani (Acapulco)No.5 (1) Radwanska (Dubai)No.9 (1) Kerber (Paris)Unseeded (2) Kanepi (Brisbane), Zheng (Auckland)Unseeded (3) Arruabarrena-Vecino (Bogotá), Arvidsson (Memphis), Babos (Monterray)Qualifier (2) Barthel (Hobart), Hsieh (Kuala Lumpar)
174 – Arruabarrena-Vecino (Bogata)
18 – Azarenka (Doha)
58 – Kerber (Paris)
23 – Azarenka (Won Sydney, Won Australian Open, Won Doha, Won Indian Wells)
38 – Martic bt Jankovic 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) (Kuala Lumpar, SF)
12 games - 6-0, 6-0 on three occasions
Arruabarrena-Vecino (Bogata) 19 yrs, 10 months & 30 days
Hantuchova (Pattaya City) 28 yrs, 9 months & 20 days
73 – Goerges
Statistics sourced with the help of the ATP and WTA.