Djokovic beats Federer in Indian Wells final

Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:17pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic beat his old rival Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) on Sunday to win a nailbiting BNP Paribas Open final at Indian Wells and capture his first title of 2014.

The Serbian overcame a shaky start when he dropped his opening service game, then survived a nervous finish when he failed to serve out the match at the first attempt before finally sealing victory in the tiebreaker.

"Today was an incredible match," Djokovic said after being presented with the winner's crystal trophy.

"It was an incredibly difficult match. Roger is playing great and it's always a pleasure playing with him."

The thrilling victory gave Djokovic his third championship in the Californian desert tournament and lifted his career tally to 42 titles.

It was Federer's first loss in a final at Indian Wells after he had previously won a record four times.

But the 32-year-old showed he was anything but a spent force as he went toe to toe with the best hardcourt player in the world.

"Personally, I'm very happy. I think I'm playing great tennis now and I'm really enjoying myself," Federer said.

"Of course, I would have liked to have more won a few more points at the end but Novak made it tough, so congratulations to him for winning."   Continued...

Mar 16, 2014; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) with the championship trophy after winning the BNP Paribas Open against Roger Federer (SUI) at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports