At the first Masters 1000 event of the 2015 season in Indian Wells, the world's leading players were the ones to beat again, with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray reaching the last four. Milos Raonic spoiled the party for Rafael Nadal, though, beating the Spaniard 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 in three hours in the quarter-final to set the semi-final clash against Roger Federer.
It was the tenth encounter between those two and Roger grabbed the ninth victory, ousting Milos 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes for the sixth Indian Wells final, hoping to go one step further than in 2014 when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the title clash.
The Swiss lost 16 points in 11 service games, fending off the only break point offered to the Canadian and taming his shots nicely with 15 winners and 11 unforced errors. Milos was the more aggressive player, firing 25 winners and 28 mistakes to offer seven break chances to Federer, suffering one break in each set to finish his journey in the semis.
Nothing could have separated them in the shortest range up to four strokes and it was Federer who had a slim edge in the more advanced exchanges, winning the crucial points and sealing the deal in straight sets to bring another title match against Djokovic who toppled Andy Murray.
Raonic held at love in the first game and Federer responded with a hold at 15 after a service winner to get his name on the scoreboard. The first chance for the returners came at 2-2 when Milos fired a service winner to remain on the positive side, with Roger leveling the score at 3-3 with a forehand winner after just 20 minutes.
Nothing could separate them in the next four games as well before Roger found the range on the return, earning a break at 5-5 and closing the opener with three winners in the 12th game for a 7-5 after 45 minutes. Fading from the court in those moments, Milos got broken in the first game of the second set as well after a backhand down the line winner from Roger who opened a 2-0 gap with an ace, moving closer to the finish line with a set and a break advantage on his tally.
Raonic earned the first and only break chance in the fourth game, denied by a service winner from Federer who closed the game with another unreturned serve to remain in front. The Swiss held at 15 in games six and eight with service winners, serving for the victory at 5-4 when Milos created a 30-0 lead, spraying a forehand error that could have given him three break chances.
Instead of that, Roger grabbed four straight points, sealing the deal with a volley winner at the net to stay on the title course.