Indian Wells Flashback: Roger Federer wins first desert title
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4199
Roger Federer claimed his second Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells 2004, extending his great run since becoming world no. 1. Roger took down Tim Henman in straight sets to secure his first Masters 1000 crown since Hamburg 2002.
The Briton defeated the Swiss a couple of weeks earlier in Rotterdam but stood no chance in the desert against the world's best player. Roger's early Indian Wells campaigns were unsuccessful, winning three out of six matches between 2001 and 2003 and changing that in 2004.
Federer took down Andrei Pavel 6-1, 6-1 in 64 minutes in the second round for a perfect start, losing just 13 points on serve and breaking the Romanian five times to sail through. Roger faced a more dangerous rival in the third round, although he had no issues passing the challenge.
The Swiss defeated Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes, facing only one break point and delivering three breaks to control the scoreboard and move into the last 16. World no. 19 Mardy Fish fought well in the opening set before Federer forged a 6-4, 6-1 triumph in 71 minutes.
World no. 1 played against one break chance and stole Fish's serve on three occasions to race into the last eight and face Juan Ignacio Chela. It was another short day at the office for the Swiss, notching a 6-2, 6-1 triumph in 63 minutes to book a place in the last four.
Roger lost serve for the first time during the campaign and controlled the pace on the return to sail into the semi-final. Federer saved six out of seven break points in the opening four matches and found his A-game ahead of the semi-final duel with Andre Agassi.
Roger worked hard and prevailed over the veteran 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in an hour and 53 minutes. Both players faced six break points, and one return game decided every set.
Roger Federer claimed his first Indian Wells title over Tim Henman in 2004.
The final set's eighth game could have been crucial.
Roger denied two break points with winners and brought the game home for a pivotal hold and 4-4. With a boost on his side, Federer grabbed a break in the ninth game to open a 5-4 gap and serve for the victory. Two aces sealed the deal for the Swiss in the tenth game, advancing into the title match versus Tim Henman.
Mighty relieved after that tight win over Agassi, the Swiss proved too strong for the Briton, beating him 6-3, 6-3 in 67 minutes for his second Masters 1000 trophy and the second notable title in 2004. Roger and Tim met for the eighth time, and the younger player secured his second triumph.
Federer produced his best tennis in the pivotal moments and controlled the scoreboard. Roger dropped nine points behind the initial shot and mounted the pressure on the other side. The Swiss created six break chances and seized three to move over the top and lift the trophy.
Federer hit more winners and fewer unforced errors. He destroyed Henman in the mid-range exchanges to emerge at the top and start his Indian Wells reign. A forehand winner gave Roger two break points in the encounter's fourth game.
He converted the second after Tim's forced volley error to create a 3-1 gap. Federer cemented the break with a service winner in game five and clinched the opener with a hold at love at 5-3 in 29 minutes. Henman hit a double fault to give serve away in the second set's third game, and Federer moved 3-1 up with a service winner a few minutes later.
The Briton served to stay in the match at 3-5 and netted a backhand to get broken and hand the title to the Swiss.