Roger Federer conquered the tennis world in 2004, distancing himself from all rivals and hoping for more in the coming season. The Swiss swept his rivals in Doha in early 2005, before losing the Australian Open crown to Marat Safin.
The Swiss raised trophies in Rotterdam and Dubai and became the favorite in Indian Wells. Roger beat his current trainer, Ivan Ljubicic, in two tie breaks in the fourth round of the desert and recorded another three comfortable victories to reach the semi-final.
Federer faced Argentina's Guillermo Cañas in the battle for the final and scored a 6-3 6-1 victory in an hour and 13 minutes. The defending champion controlled the pace with 23 winners and 17 unforced errors, having the advantage in both the shorter and later rallies to stay ahead and stay in contention for the title.
Federer stole more than half of the return points, created ten break chances and converted five to have the strands of the clash in his hands. On the other hand, he had two break points and was broken once. The World No. 1 started the action with a service winner and fended off a break chance at 1-1 with a strong forehand winner.
Roger secured a break a few minutes later to open a 3-1 gap and build momentum. The Argentine broke again after forcing an error from the Swiss in game five, reducing the deficit and leveling the score at 3-3 to stay in contact with the best player in the world.
Auger-Aliassime pays tribute to Federer
Felix Auger-Aliassime lavished praise on Roger Federer's backhand slice in a recent interview with 'We Are Tennis' In the Canadian's opinion, the quality and technique of Federer's backhand slice is unrivaled in the sport.
"Roger Federer is the [GOAT of the sliced backhand], for the quality of the shot, but also the style." The World No. 9 was also very much impressed with Federer’s organizational skills. Auger-Aliassime recalled how the 20-time Grand Slam champion managed to juggle the logistics for his entire entourage of about 10 people when the pair trained together in Dubai back in 2017.
"Roger is pretty good [with logistics]," he said. "I remember training with him in Dubai and he had to bring his whole family, coaches, the team. There were about 10 people. There is probably someone who takes care of it for him, but he seems pretty organized.
I'm pretty organized too, but I've already missed a flight. So I am not sure both answers go in the same sentence."