Indian Wells 2014: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in thriller to claim BNP Paribas Open title

It represents the Serbian's first title of the season

Novak Djokovic banished the doubts that had crept into his mind with victory over Roger Federer to win his first title of the season at the BNP Paribas Open.

The Serbian arrived in Indian Wells without a title for the first time since 2006 and was taken to a deciding set in three of his first five matches.

Question marks about his form and mental state persisted when Federer won the opening set and then broke back when Djokovic served for the match in the decider.

But he regrouped to force a tie-break, which he dominated to win 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3), collecting a crystal trophy so heavy he could barely lift it and a cheque for US dollars one million.

Djokovic said: "Considering the fact that I came into the American hard-court season without a trophy, the first time in many years, it was a different feel.

"I knew I was playing well on the court, but not winning a title and coming here, there were certain doubts.

"I had ups and downs in my concentration in the opening rounds, but I managed to stay mentally strong and have that self-belief. I carried that all the way through to the title.

"That's something that definitely makes this title very special to me, and it's going to mean a lot for what's coming up."

Djokovic saw his three-year winning run at the Australian Open ended by Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals while he was then beaten by Federer at the same stage in Dubai a fortnight ago.

Those were his first two tournaments working with new head coach Boris Becker, but it was long-time coach Marian Vajda who was in his corner in California.

Vajda has taken a back seat and will only travel to certain tournaments, and the jury is certainly still out on whether Djokovic and Becker will be a successful partnership.

The world number two said he had been in frequent contact with the German, but added: "Marian is definitely somebody that knows me so well, and I won every title in my life with him.

"We have been working together for eight years, and he's been more than just a coach to me. He's a great support, a mentor, an older brother, a father, whatever you want to call it.

"We have a great relationship. He knows me very well. And Boris is new to our team, so it's still a process of getting to know each other.

"People of course always question if Boris should be there or not be there now that Marian, the first tournament he won the title with me, and Boris didn't do that in Australia and Dubai.

"But it's the start of the season. We are all working together as a team. It doesn't make any difference now. Boris is the head coach and Marian respects that, I respect that, and we hope for success."

The result brought to an end Federer's winning run of 11 matches, but the disappointment was tempered by the contentment he is feeling about his game.

It was in Indian Wells last year that Federer hurt his back, and physical problems led to a loss of confidence that contributed to his worst season for more than a decade.

The 32-year-old, who will climb back to number five in the rankings, said: "You could be very disappointed after a match like that because you put in a lot of hard work, and walking away without the trophy, being a few points from victory, is tough.

"If you see the angle that last year was difficult, especially in Indian Wells, that I'm able to turn it all around now and I'm really playing nice tennis, then it's maybe sometimes a little easier to lose this way.

"Because I really did believe I was playing good tennis, it was a solid match. It was good also movement-wise. My serve was around. It was overall a good performance.

"I'm actually very happy with the tournament."

Federer skipped the tournament in Miami last year and has not yet committed to playing in Florida next week.

He said: "I'm going to leave tonight to Miami, and then I will see how I feel over there. But I will definitely go to that direction and most likely I will play."

PA

Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
fashionA new dress to enrage the internet...
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own