Roger Federer defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win a record-tying fifth Indian Wells title in an all-Swiss final on Sunday.
Federer’s second title of the year, two months after he won an incredible 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, draws him level with former world no 1 Novak Djokovic who was knocked out in the fourth round.
The Swiss maestro became the oldest man to win in the California desert at 35 years, 7 months, surpassing Jimmy Connors record in 1981, and his 90th career title keeps him third on the all-time list behind Connors and Ivan Lendl.
Federer, who kept reminding everyone during the ATP Masters 1000 event that he was “on the comeback” following his six-month injury layoff last year, dropped serve just once in five matches, losing the first game of the second set against No. 3 seed Wawrinka.
He saved one break point against old foe Rafael Nadal in their one-sided fourth round clash, and never lost a set in the tournament, even though he advanced to the semifinals via walkover when in-form Nick Kyrgios withdrew.
Federer unfurled 23 winners, including 16 off his backhand in the 80-minute encounter, while Wawrinka, who got emotional in his post-match speech, had 17 winners and 21 unforced errors as he now trails 3-20 in their head-to-head.
The 18-time major winner will move up four spots to No. 6 when the new ATP world rankings are released on Monday.
Meanwhile, the tributes are pouring in for the ageless Federer…
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) March 19, 2017
Federer is playing at an untouchable level. His shots are beautifully-struck, taken early, and placed with purpose. He is peaking at 35.
— Nick Nemeroff (@NNemeroff) March 19, 2017
Next up for him is the Miami Masters.