ATP INDIAN WELLS 2015 Finals Preview: Djokovic And Federer Continue Rivalry In The Desert

The top ranked Serbian broke Murray’s serve early on in both the sets and took only 88 minutes improving his head to head record against Murray 17-8 to enter his 31st ATP 1000 final. He has won in 20 of them and is the only player in history to have won eight out of the nine Super Series events, with the exception of Cincinnati (four time runner up). He is hoping to claim his 50th ATP World Tour title which will put him ahead of his German coach Boris Becker who won 49 singles titles in his career. While Federer has won in Indian Wells in 2004,2005,2006 and 2012, Djokovic won it in 2008, 2011 and 2014. Last year Djokovic defeated Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in the final but trails 17-20 in career head to head between the two.

Roger Federer ended the impressive run of the Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets to set up a dream final against the defendinf champion Novak Djokovic in what will also be a repeat of last year’s final in Indian Wells, California in the first of Nine ATP 1000 for the year 2015. Earlier in the day the top seed from Serbia had a surprisingly easy 6-2, 6-3 win against the Scott Andy Murray in a repeat of the Australian Open Final in 2015 which Djokovic won to claim his fifth title in Melbourne and his eighth at Grand Slams.

Raonic had entered the last four after saving three match points in the second set tie-break against the three time champion Rafael Nadal could not repeat the heroics against Federer who broke Raonic’s serve at 5-5 in the first set and then in the opening game of the second set. The Swiss now has a 19 set winning streak dating back to the first round of the Dubai Dutyfree Championships in February where he beat Djokovic in the final. The second ranked Federer faced only one break point and triumphed 7-5,6-4 in 86 minutes against Raonic who was bidding to reach his second consecutive ATP 1000 final following his runner up finish at Bercy in Paris last year (loss to Djokovic). Federer improved his head to head record against Raonic 9-1. His only loss to the sixth ranked Raonic was in the quarter-final of Bercy in 2014. He will be playing his 40th ATP 1000 final and has a chance to win an unprecedented 5th title in Indian Wells in the same week he became the only player to register 50 wins at this tournament. He has won 23 ATP 1000 titles in his career; second only to Rafael Nadal’s tally of 27.

Federer is 16-1 in 2015 having won titles in Brisbane and Dubai, his only loss was on the third round of the Australian Open against the Italian Andreas Seppi in four sets in Melbourne. Federer avenged his defeat on Tuesday in the round of 32. Djokovic is 18-2 in 2015 winning in Melbourne and his losses have come at the hands of Ivo Karlovic in Doha before the Australian Open and to Federer in Dubai. It is a tough call picking a winner tommorow but it could be Federer lifting the trophy to be crowned the King Of The Desert if he wins an unprecedented fifth title on Sunday as he might be hungrier of the two since he would be missing the Miami Open starting March 25th. Djokovic will be defending his title in the 96 player field which has now a new sponsor Itau.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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