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Indian summer at Indian Wells

Roger Federer has not won a grand slam crown since the 2010 Australian Open but his scintillating form over the past nine months suggests he will be back in the elite winners circle very soon. Numbers game

sports Updated: Mar 20, 2012 01:17 IST
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Roger-Federer-of-Switzerland-poses-for-photographers-after-defeating-John-Isner-during-the-final-of-the-BNP-Paribas-Open-at-the-Indian-Wells-Tennis-Garden-in-Indian-Wells-California-AFP-Matthew-Stockman

Roger Federer has not won a grand slam crown since the 2010 Australian Open but his scintillating form over the past nine months suggests he will be back in the elite winners circle very soon.

The Swiss maestro overcame big-serving American John Isner 7-6 (7), 6-3 in the final of the Indian Wells tournament on Sunday, his sixth ATP World Tour title in his last eight tournaments. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/3/20_03_12-pg22a.jpg

Federer fended off a flu bug in the early stages of the event before going on to beat former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, 10-times grand slam winner Rafa Nadal and then Isner in straight sets.

Since his gripping emi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at last years U.S. Open, the Swiss has won 39 of his 41 matches, sparking talk he may be back to his very best.

"I think I have been playing extremely well since the (2011) French Open," 16-times grand slam champion Federer told reporters after winning his third consecutive title on the men's circuit.

"But people aren't giving me enough credit sometimes for how great that tournament was because I didn't win it.

"Same thing at Wimbledon. I thought I played really well there, too and I was really in a good position to do something extraordinary there as well. Same thing happened at the U.S. Open."

Federer was runner-up to Spanish left-hander Nadal at last year's French Open and lost to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight at Wimbledon after winning the first two sets.

Azarenka wins big in Oz Open final repeat

World number one Victoria Azarenka clinched her fourth title of the year with a 6-2 6-3 demolition of an error-prone Maria Sharapova in the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Sunday.

On a cold and blustery day, the Australian Open champion broke Sharapova's notoriously fragile serve twice in the opening set and four times in the second to triumph in one hour and 26 minutes on the showpiece stadium court.

Although Azarenka faced a little more resistance from Sharapova late in the second set, she held off the Russian's fightback and ended the match with a probing backhand which forced a desperate lob from her opponent that floated long.

The 22-year-old Belarusian dropped her racket in delight and set off on a running jig in the direction of the players' box after improving her record this year to 23-0, the best start to a WTA Tour season since 1997.

Swiss Martina Hingis recorded 37 consecutive victories to launch her 1997 campaign with Azarenka next best on 23.

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