Congratulations to Novak Djokovic and Flavia Pennetta: 2014 BNP Paribas Open Champions at Indian Wells. While the Radwanska vs. Pennetta Final proved anti-climactic, with Agnieszka hampered by a knee-injury most of the match; the Djokovic vs. Federer Final was electric, ending in a third set tie-break.
After wrist surgery and a frustrating return to the game that left her considering retirement before last year’s US Open, Flavia Pennetta scored the biggest win of her career on Sunday, climbing to #12 on the WTA Tour at 32 years young. As fellow Italian Fabio Fognini doused her with water during the post-match celebration, the reality of the win still hadn’t entirely sunk in. She’d defeated the likes of Taylor Townsend, Samantha Stosur, Camila Giorgi, Sloane Stephens, Na Li and Agnieszka Radwanska to secure her 10th career title. Suddenly, the frustration of overcoming injury began to melt away in the desert sun, as confetti flew from court-side canons while she cradled the crystal trophy. Sadly, due to knee tendinitis, Radwanska couldn’t even make the match competitive. Heartbroken, in a tear-filled speach after the match, she apologized to fans for “not being able to run,” though Flavia was a deserving winner after two great weeks in the Coachella Valley.
The Men’s Final featured everything the tournament and tennis fans could’ve hoped for: Two top names with a near-even head-to-head record. Coming into Sunday’s Final, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had played each other 32-times; Roger had won 17 of those matches, Novak 15. Most recently, Federer defeated Djokovic in Dubai en-route to his 78th career title. After a 31-minute first set, it looked like Roger would easily capture his 79th and hoist his 5th Indian Wells trophy; but at 4-3 in the second, Novak scored his first break and evened the match on his next service game. In the third, Novak broke Roger at 1-all and served for the match at 5-4, but Federer managed to break back and even things up at 5-all. In the tie-break, Novak was unstoppable, allowing only 3-points in Roger’s favor. After the match, Novak admitted – confidence wise – it was a must-win: “It was the first final that I played this year. It was necessary for my confidence, and hopefully I can carry that into Miami and the rest of the season.”
With the win, Novak maintains his #2 ranking behind Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer jumps to #5 overall, behind Stanislas Wawrinka and David Ferrer. Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Richard Gasquet and John Isner round out the top-10.
Men’s Singles Champion…
-  N Djokovic (SRB) def.  R Federer (SUI) 3-6 6-3 7-6(3)
Women’s Singles Champion…
-  F Pennetta (ITA) def.  A Radwanska (POL) 6-2 6-1
NEXT UP: The Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Florida