Tennis News Wire -
BNP Paribas Open
Sunday Men's Summary
Singles - Final: (3) R Federer def. (11) J Isner 7-6(9-7) 6-3
After a mildly epic first set, we thought this might prove a long battle, but Roger Federer took complete charge after that, breaking twice in the final set while never even facing a break point himself. It took only an hour and 21 minutes, and Federer actually out-aced John Isner seven to four.
The last six weeks have produced an amazing streak for Federer: three titles and 16 straight wins. He is now within 850 points of Rafael Nadal in the contest for #2 -- and Nadal has 600 points to defend at Miami and Federer only 360. Nadal certainly still has the lead in the contest, and by a substantial margin, but Federer is suddenly looking like a threat. We can't help thinking that he needs only one more week at #1 to hit the record. For the moment at least, it's starting to look like an actual possibility.
And he wins his fourth title at Indian Wells -- a guaranteed record.
John Isner doesn't have a chance for #1 any time soon -- but he does reach the Top Ten for the first time. And he is less than 200 points behind Mardy Fish, and Fish has semifinal points to defend at Miami. Isner has a real shot to become the #1 American in two weeks. Plus he still had the doubles to play:
Doubles - Final: M Lopez/Nadal def. Isner/Querrey 6-2 7-6(7-3)
There is something about Rafael Nadal and the big ones.
It's worth remembering that Nadal's earliest success was in doubles. But, lately, he hasn't played much. He has one title in each of the last five years. The list is interesting, though: Monte Carlo 2008 with Robredo, Doha 2009 with Lopez, Indian Wells 2010 with Lopez, Doha 2011 with Lopez, and now this. Five titles, all 500 pointers or better, three of them Masters, four with Lopez, all on hardcourts. Who would have thought it? Maybe everybody should try taking February off....
For John Isner, this made it a doubly disappointing day. But it's big for Sam Querrey, who has really been struggling. All right, it's only doubles. But it's a final. Maybe he's starting to come out of it.