Ageless Federer's fairytale continues as he now aims for Miami

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Ageless Federers fairytale continues as he now aims for Miami
Roger Federer of Switzerland poses for photographers after defeating Stan Wawrinka (AFP)

Indian Wells - At 35 years and seven months, Federer became the oldest champion in the desert tournament's history

By AP/AFP

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Published: Mon 20 Mar 2017, 10:20 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Mar 2017, 12:26 AM

Forget the comeback talk. Roger Federer is back.
He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open title in an all-Swiss final on Sunday to go with his record 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January after missing most of last year with various injuries.
Federer kept reminding everyone during the ATP Masters 1000 event that he was "on the comeback" and, wanting to see how he felt, hadn't planned beyond the first three months of year
He might want to think bigger now.
Federer tied the tourney record of Novak Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round, while winning his 90th career title, keeping him third behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl on the all-time list in the Open era.
At 35 years and seven months, Federer became the oldest champion in the desert tournament's history, surpassing Connors, who was 31 years and five months when he won in 1981.
Federer is also the oldest ATP player to win one of the elite Masters titles, supplanting Andre Agassi who was 34 when he won in Cincinnati in 2004.
His twin daughters cheered and jumped up and down in a box above the court when Federer put away a high forehand volley while keeping Wawrinka pinned deep behind the baseline on match point.
Federer 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 Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, and never lost set in the tournament. No. 9 seed Federer advanced to the semifinals via walkover when Nick Kyrgios withdrew.
Federer will moved up four spots to No. 6 in the ATP world rankings on Monday.
He hit 23 winners, including 16 off his backhand in the 80-minute match. Wawrinka had 17 winners and 21 unforced errors.
"It's been just a fairytale week once again," said Federer, who missed Indian Wells last year because of injury.
"I'm not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did.
"I couldn't be more happy. It's an absolute, huge start to the year for me. Last year I didn't win any titles. I don't think I was in any finals except maybe Brisbane last year. The change is dramatic, and it feels great."
The speedy progress means 10th-ranked Federer will have to reassess his 2017 goals. Prior to the Australian Open his aim was to get his ranking to as high as eighth by the time Wimbledon was over.
"The goals are clearly changing after this dream start," Federer said.
While Federer had won 19 of 22 prior meetings with Wawrinka - including a semifinal win in Melbourne - he noted that his compatriot would be no easy mark as he played his first tournament in America since winning the US Open in September.
"I've lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was your biggest fan," a choked up Wawrinka told Federer at the trophy ceremony. "So congratulations on your comeback and congratulations on today." 
 


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