Novak Djokovic retained his Indian Wells men's singles title in yet another three-set tussle with Roger Federer yesterday, in a repeat of their clash twelve months ago. His 6-3 6-7 6-2 success drew him level with the Swiss #Tennis magician on four titles apiece at the prestigious Californian event. The women's final proved to be an entertaining encounter, as Jelena Jankovic threatened to make it a Serbian double at the tournament, as she took the first set against Simona Halep. However, the number three seed persevered and it was Halep who ultimately came out on top 2-6 7-5 6-4, in a match where there were an unbelievable 18 breaks of serve.
The top two seeds in the men's singles had always looked destined to clash in the final, with both players having failed to lose a set on their way to the deciding match. With Federer having won their last match in Dubai earlier in the year in straight sets, the edge may have been slightly with the seventeen-time Grand Slam winner, but their matches have a tendency to be hard to call.
Early momentum seemed to be with the top seed, Djokovic as he took the first set 6-3 and was by far the better player. The second set proved to be a tight contest and went to a tie-break, after Federer had broken back from a break down. With the impetus and crowd willing him on, the Swiss player just edged that 7-5 to push the final into a deciding third set, but failed to match the intensity of his younger rival thereafter, as the Serb ran out a relatively comfortable winner in the end.
The Serbian's victory moves him closer in their personal head to head, Federer leading that by just 20 wins to 18 now.
If anything, the women's final was an even closer match, as the form book had been thrown away to leave a meeting between seeds number 3 (Halep) and 18 (Jankovic) to decide who would take away the title, after Serena Williams had been forced to pull out of the semi-final with injury. That air of unpredictability seemed to be carried into the final itself, as neither player seemed capable of dominating on their own serve, while breaking their opponents' service seemingly at will.
Jankovic seemed destined to regain the title she won back in 2010, after three breaks of serve for her in the first set enabled her to move ahead in the match. An early break in the second set looked to be pushing her towards the title, but the resilient Romanian had other ideas, as she sought the biggest victory of her career so far. As service breaks were exchanged like confetti in the second set, Halep's four breaks proved just enough for her to clinch it in the twelve game. It was a similar story in the deciding set, but when the Romanian for once held on to her serve at 3-3, she was able to break Jankovic's service again to close the match out.Halep had played at Indian Wells despite the tragic news of her cousin's recent suicide, showing a good deal of fortitude and inner strength for her 23 years of age.