Indian Wells Flashback: Roger Federer beats Andre Agassi and reaches final
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4875
Roger Federer produced his first notable Indian Wells run in 2004, beating Andre Agassi in the semi-final and advancing into the title clash. Federer could not find his A-game in his first three trips to the desert, winning only three matches and returning as world no.
1 in 2004. Roger made a perfect start and defeated four rivals in under four and a half hours. Federer dropped 15 games in eight sets and arranged the semi-final meeting with Andre Agassi. It was the sixth meeting between Major winners and the third straight triumph for Federer, who prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 53 minutes for a place in the first Indian Wells final.
The Swiss delivered better numbers behind the second serve and fended off five out of six break chances to mount pressure on the American. Agassi got broken once in sets he lost and finished his run in the semi-final. Federer had more winners and unforced errors.
He delivered an aggressive approach and forced more mistakes from Agassi's racquet to cross the finish line first.
Roger Federer defeated Andre Agassi in the 2004 Indian Wells semi-final.
Roger had the upper hand in the shortest and most advanced rallies to seal the deal in just under two hours under a boiling Californian sun.
Roger held at love in the encounter's first game and repeated that at 1-1 with a service winner. Agassi did the same in game four to level the score at 2-2 in no time. Suddenly, Federer hit a double fault and suffered a break at 15 in game five.
He found himself 4-2 down following Andre's another comfortable hold, with the American doing everything right so far. The crowd's favorite held after deuce in game eight and secured the opener with a backhand crosscourt winner at 5-4 after half an hour.
Federer created no break chances in the first set and changed that at the start of the second. He placed a deep return in game two to secure a break at 15 and gain a boost. The youngster sprayed a forehand error in game five to offer his opponent a break chance.
Roger fended it off with a service winner and brought the game home with an unreturned serve to extend the gap to 4-1. Another powerful serve pushed the Swiss 5-2 up, and he served for the set at 5-3. Agassi created a break chance that could have kept him in the set.
Roger forced an error to repel it and secured the set thanks to a backhand error from the American to introduce a decider. Andre survived break chances in the first game to avoid an early setback and felt the pressure again in game five before moving 3-2 up.
Agassi had a massive opportunity to build the advantage in the eighth game, firing a forehand crosscourt winner and creating a break chance. Roger stayed focused and saved both break points with forehand winners before leveling the score at 4-4 with a service winner.
With a boost on his side, Federer took four straight points on the return in the next one to deliver a decisive break and serve for the victory at 5-4. The Swiss emerged at the top after a hold at love in game ten to set the final clash against Tim Henman in his fourth Masters 1000 title match.