Title, Top 10 wins re-energize Federer for Indian Wells

Friday, March 07, 2014 /by

Winning the title capped Roger Federer's week in Dubai, but victories over Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and Tomas Berdych in the final were a "bonus."

"Of course it's nice beating Novak and all that, but for me it stands out winning a tournament, holding a trophy in my hands," Federer said, adding laughingly, "I'm not holding Novak up, you know."

Federer had not won a title since Halle last June. But after also going 4-10 against Top 10 opponents last year, the 17-time Grand Slam champ is pleased to be defeating notable names with greater regularity: He is 4-1 against Top 10 opponents this season.

"It was a great bonus to be able to beat [Djokovic] on a hardcourt and he's had a great last six months or so and he usually plays so well in Dubai so this was a big win for me," said Federer at his Indian Wells press conference on Thursday. "And same with beating Berdych as well — he's been having a great season so far.

"So it's just nice being able to win, beat as many top 10 guys now in two months than what I did all of last year. I enjoyed Dubai and beating those two guys and getting the trophy, it was a perfect week."

The run, which came after reaching the final in Brisbane and the semifinals of the Australian Open to start the year, has left the four-time Indian Wells champion "really motivated to be playing" the BNP Paribas Open.

"This definitely helps with the confidence," said Federer, who owns a 6-0 record against his first-round opponent, qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu. "Now it's just important that I get through these two tournaments in a good way, on the court playing but also physically.”

The 32-year-old Federer reprises his doubles partnership with Swiss Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka as the pair play sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi on Stadium 2 today. Federer and Wawrinka reached the 2011 Indian Wells doubles final, losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse.

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