Indian Wells Flashback: Roger Federer tops Lleyton Hewitt and defends title
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2676
Roger Federer defended the Indian Wells title in 2005 to claim his fifth Masters 1000 crown. Federer and Lleyton Hewitt were the top seeds, reaching the final and setting their 16th meeting on the Tour. Roger scored a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 54 minutes for his seventh consecutive win over Lleyton.
The Swiss saved six out of seven break points and stole the rival's serve five times from 15 opportunities to emerge at the top and defend the title. Federer fired over 40 winners and sprayed around 30 unforced errors. He controlled the pace in the rallies and reduced Hewitt to 15 winners and 30 unforced mistakes, staying in front all the time and celebrating the second crown in the desert.
Roger had a clear advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes. He dominated with the initial shot and the first groundstroke to impose his gameplay and stay aggressive from start to finish. Roger clinched more points in the extended exchanges and became a deserved champion.
Roger Federer defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the 2005 Indian Wells final.
World no. 1 made the strongest start and grabbed a break in the encounter's first game when his rival sprayed a forehand mistake. Roger saved a break point in game two with a service winner and fired another from his forehand to move 2-0 in front.
Federer landed two winners at 30-30 in the sixth game for 4-2 and grabbed another break a few minutes later to open a 5-2 gap. The Swiss served for the opener in the eighth game and landed four winners for 6-2 in 28 minutes.
Hewitt claimed one of the best points in Indian Wells history to repel a break chance in the second set's third game. The Aussie stayed in touch until 3-3 when the Swiss grabbed a break following his opponent's backhand error.
Roger cemented it with an ace and fired three winners in game ten to forge two sets to love advantage and take a big step toward the finish line. With nothing working his way, Lleyton lost serve in the third set's first game and fought back from 40-0 down in the third game to avoid an even more significant deficit.
Roger continued to push strong on the return and grabbed a break with a forehand down the line winner in game five to open a 4-1 gap. The Aussie pulled one break back in the next game after a careless forehand from the Swiss, who faced another break point at 4-3.
Federer saved it with an ace and closed the game to remain ahead. Roger served for the title at 5-4 and painted three powerful serves to seal the deal and become the first defending champion since Lleyton himself.