By Maxwell Adeleye
Australian Open champion Roger Federer beat Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 in an all-Swiss final on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open — his fifth Indian Wells triumph.
World number 10 Federer claimed the first set before being broken for the first time at this year’s tournament in the first game of the second set.
Wawrinka, the world number three, went 2-0 ahead before Federer won three games in a row on his way to the title.
Elena Vesnina had earlier beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final.
Federer becomes the oldest champion in the tournament’s history, surpassing Jimmy Connors, who was 31 when he triumphed in 1984.
This was the 23rd meeting between Federer, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, and Wawrinka.
The 35-year-old Federer has now beaten his compatriot, who was in tears at the end, 20 times.
“This has been a fairy tale week,’’ said Federer. “It’s a beautiful feeling. Maybe it’s not as surprising as Australia but it’s still great to back it up by winning in Amercia.
“It’s a dream start to the year. I have totally exceeded my expectations. It’s been an unbelievable start to the year.’’
The women’s final lasted just over three hours as Vesnina came back from the dead to secure the biggest title of her career.
Eighth seed Kuznetsova edged a marathon first set lasting 71 minutes by winning a tie-break.
Vesnina, the 14th seed, trailed 4-1 in the second set before winning four games in a row to force a deciding set.