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Djokovic downs Federer for third Indian Wells crown

ESPN staff
March 17, 2014 « Senden earns first PGA Tour title since 2006 | Chartbeat test »
Novak Djokovic wins a thriller at Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic thwarted Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) in a thrilling final at Indian Wells to clinch the title for a third time.

Federer rallied from a break down and a 5-3 deficit in the third set to force the tiebreaker on Sunday, but he made a slew of mistakes to lose the 33rd meeting between the two rivals.

Federer still leads the series 17-16, having beaten recently Djokovic in three sets in the semi-finals at Dubai. Djokovic will remain No.2 in the world, while Federer will rise three spots to No.5 on Monday in the ATP Tour rankings.

It was the Swiss who started brighter as he took the opening set in little over half an hour on court.

Djokovic hit back to take the break in the eighth game of the second set as he capitalised on a poor Federer forehand.

The Serb rallied in the deciding set and took the advantage with an early break; Federer again collapsing with two consecutive forehand errors to hand his opponent the momentum.

Like his semi-final against John Isner on Saturday, Djokovic failed to serve out for the match as Federer hit back from 5-3 down to lead 6-5. However, Djokovic held on to force a tie-break.

Djokovic proved too strong in the breaker as he established a 5-1 lead before sealing victory with his second championship point, inflicting a first Indian Wells final defeat on Federer.

Earlier on Sunday, Flavia Pennetta routed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-1 to claim the biggest title of her career in the women's event.

Novak Djokovic inflicted a first-ever Indian Wells final defeat on Roger Federer © Getty Images
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