Fed Express runs away with Indian Wells title
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Fed Express runs away with Indian Wells title

World number one Roger Federer decimates American James Blake 7-5 6-3 6-0, lifts 3rd straight Indian Wells title.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 09:18 IST

World number one Roger Federer demolished American James Blake 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to win his third consecutive Pacific Life Open title on Sunday.

The Swiss withstood a fast start from an inspired Blake in the first set, coming back from two breaks down to take charge.

After breaking to lead 5-3 in the second set, Federer reeled off the next seven games as Blake's resistance crumbled.

The 24-year-old Federer extended his 2006 record to 22-1, his sole loss coming against Spain's Rafael Nadal in the Dubai final earlier in March.

The Swiss is the first man to win the Indian Wells Masters Series tournament for three consecutive years.

“It's special,” Federer said. “Obviously I like records once in a while. I'm happy I've made one here. He really got the better of me in the beginning, so I had to react and not panic. I did a good job there.”

After Blake bullied him with huge groundstrokes and crisp volleys early on, Federer adeptly mixed up his shots, played stellar defence and turned to the attack when given the chance.

Blake held a 4-1 and two-break lead in the first set, but Federer dug his way back in.

The American served for the set at 5-5, but Federer broke him when Blake doubled faulted twice in a row. Federer won the set when he passed Blake with a gorgeous backhand passing shot down the line.

He was never pushed after that.

“Long with a couple of mistakes by me at the end of that first set, he really picked his level up and played unbelievably,” Blake said.

“He put pressure on me on all my service games, was cruising on his, forcing me to hit shots I didn't want to hit. That's what he's best at.”

Federer blasted 32 winners from just 22 from Blake; whose serve really let him down. Blake only won 47 percent of his service points and was broken seven times in the match.

Federer has won his last seven ATP Masters Series finals.

“In the end, I played fantastic tennis with some great shots once again,” he said.

The Swiss enters the NASADQ-100 Open in Miami this coming week as the world number one for the 112th straight week, fifth on the all-time list.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 09:18 IST