(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic claimed his third ATP World Tour title in a perfect season by beating top-seeded Spaniard Rafa Nadal 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the final of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Sunday.
The unstoppable Serb shrugged off the loss of the opening set to outlast the world number one in a gripping match lasting two hours 25 minutes at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, extending his remarkable record for the year to 18-0.
Australian Open champion Djokovic, who overcame Swiss world number two Roger Federer in the last four, broke Nadal twice early in the final set before sealing victory when the Spanish left-hander netted a forehand.
It was the Serb’s second triumph in the elite ATP Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells, having first won the title here as a 20-year-old in 2008.
“I am playing with a lot of confidence, I’m feeling the ball well on the court,” third-seeded Djokovic told reporters after celebrating victory by clenching both fists and yelling skywards. “I’m very dedicated.
“I have a big will to win each match I’m playing. It will not stop here, definitely. I want to keep on going, keep on playing good tennis.”
During the trophy presentation, Djokovic congratulated Nadal on “a great tournament”, before adding: “For me, you are the greatest player ever.”
Nadal, the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, applauded the 23-year-old Serb for his third successive tournament win of the year.
“You started the season fantastic so all the best for the rest of the season,” the Spaniard said after his own record for the year slipped to 14-3. “Well done. I lost today but I lost to one of the greatest.”
Top seed Wozniacki clinches Indian Wells title
(Reuters) - Top seed Caroline Wozniacki held off a spirited fightback by Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli to win her 14th WTA title with a 6-1 2-6 6-3 victory in the Indian Wells final on Sunday.
The Danish world number one recovered from the surprise loss of the second set to end a marathon baseline slugfest in two hours eight minutes at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Wozniacki, beaten by Serb Jelena Jankovic in last year’s final here, broke the 15th-seeded Frenchwoman three times in the final set, sealing victory when her opponent sent a backhand long.
The jubilant Dane threw both arms skywards to celebrate her second title of the year, having also triumphed at last month’s Dubai championships. “It means a lot,” Wozniacki told reporters after earning $700,000 for her triumphant march to the Indian Wells crown. “It’s a big tournament, and I’m very, very happy.
“It’s pretty much a two-week event, and you have days in between like in the grand slams. Once again, I showed that I can play great tennis, and I’ve beaten some really good players this week.”
Bartoli, who had booked her place in the final by crushing Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-3 in the last four, choked back tears as she applauded the triumphant Dane. “Sorry I am a bit in tears but it is more tears of tiredness,” said the 26-year-old, who will become world number 10 when the rankings are issued on Monday.
“Caroline, you make me cry today. I would like to congratulate you. You can be proud of yourself. I know your big goal is to get a grand slam and I am sure you will get it very soon.”
Sania-Vesnina pair wins doubles’’ title in Indian Wells
Indian Wells (USA), Mar 20 (PTI) Sania Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina clinched their first title in just their third WTA event as a team, lifting the BNP Paribas Open women’’s double trophy after upstaging Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy here.
Sania and Vesnina beat eighth seeds Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy 6-0 7-5. Mirza and Vesnina, who were quarterfinalists at Dubai and Doha in February, were unseeded here but they lost just 19 games in their first four matches, including a surprise 6-2 6-3 upset over seventh seeds Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.