ThrowbackTimes: Roger Federer beats Lleyton Hewitt to defend title



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ThrowbackTimes: Roger Federer beats Lleyton Hewitt to defend title

In 2004, Roger Federer became world no. 1 for the first time, winning three Majors and moving miles away from all the rivals. A year later, Rafael Nadal was there to challenge him, but Federer knew how to keep himself in front, with both players conquering 11 titles for complete domination.

The Swiss couldn't defend the Australian Open title before claiming the third straight Dubai trophy, gathering momentum ahead of Indian Wells, where he repeated the winning path from 2004 to lift the fifth Masters 1000 title.

Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt were the top seeds in the desert that year, and they both played on a high level to set the final clash. Federer beat Guillermo Canas in the semis, and Hewitt prevailed against Andy Roddick in three tie breaks to set the 16th clash against the Swiss.

Losing seven of the first nine encounters against the Aussie, Federer finally found the winning formula for Lleyton, beating him six times in 2004 and delivering the seventh consecutive victory in Indian Wells to lift the trophy.

Roger needed an hour and 54 minutes to notch a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win, fending off six out of seven break chances and stealing the opponent's serve five times from 15 opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets against a former champion.

Federer fired over 40 winners and sprayed around 30 unforced errors, controlling the rallies' pace and reducing Hewitt to 15 winners and 30 unforced errors, 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, dominating with the initial shot and the first groundstroke to impose his tactic and stay aggressive from start to finish. It was the best start for the Swiss, who secured a break in the first game when Hewitt sprayed a forehand mistake and fended off a break chance in game two with a service winner to open a 2-0 gap thanks to a forehand winner.

Roger Federer toppled Lleyton Hewitt to win Indian Wells title in 2005.

At 30-30 in the sixth game, Roger landed two winners to remain in front, clinched another break to move 5-2 ahead and closed the opener with four winners in the next game after 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, staying in touch until 3-3 when Federer grabbed a break following his opponent's backhand error.

Roger cemented the advantage with an ace and landed three winners at 5-4 to forge two sets to love lead and take a big step towards 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 before Roger 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 soon after a careless forehand from the Swiss, who faced another break point at 4-3, saving it with an ace and closing the game to remain ahead. Serving for the title, Federer blasted three powerful serves in the tenth game to seal the deal and defend the crown in the desert, repeating what Hewitt did before him in 2002 and 2003.