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PHOTOS: Djokovic Downs Federer for Third Indian Wells Title

Novak Djokovic claimed victory at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open.

Novak Djokovic takes in a victory against Roger Federer in the finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells Sunday, March 16, 2014. Credit: Jessica E. Davis
Novak Djokovic takes in a victory against Roger Federer in the finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells Sunday, March 16, 2014. Credit: Jessica E. Davis
Novak Djokovic earned his third Indian Wells title in a thrilling three set tie-break beating Roger Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

"That was definitely a relief in the end of the match," Djokovic said. "The last point when he hit the backhand in the net, I just focused on each point individually. Didn't really try to think about what happened or what's going to happen, if it happens."

For the World No. 2 Djokovic the victory was his 17th ATP Masters 1000 title.

Federer converted his only break chance in the first set to grab an early lead, 6-3.

In the second set, Federer’s service game dropped as he won just 7-of-15 first serve points. The Swiss was broken for the first time in 34 service games, and Djokovic consolidated the break to take the second set 6-3.

"It was a very even match," Djokovic said. "One break was enough for him to win the first. It was exactly the same for me in the second."

Federer fought through four deuce points to hold serve to begin the third set. But the Serb again broke Federer’s next serve to grab an early lead.

With Djokovic serving for the match at 5-4, Federer won the first three points and converted his second break point to even the match. Both players held serve, before Djokovic took control in the third set tie-break.

"I played a good game to break back," Federer said. "Got the first serve returns back, and then played well from the baseline. I think I was playing with the wind at that moment, as well. A bit more wind coming from my side, which made it more difficult for him maybe to serve it out."

It was a bit of deja vu for the Serb who failed to serve out the match twice against American John Isner in the semi-finals.

"I stayed mentally tough, and that, for me, is something that gives me a lot of encouragement and hopefully a confidence boost for the rest of the season," Djokovic said.

The Indian Wells final was the 33rd head-to-head match for two of the games superstars. Federer holds a slight advantage in the rivalry 17-16.

Since 2009 the big four of Federer, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, have won titles at 41 of 46 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, including this year’s BNP Paribas Open.

"Winning against Roger is always a great win anywhere in any tournament, any part of the world. He's a great champion," Djokovic said.

The Serb moves into second place on the all-time Indian Wells tournament title leaderboard joining Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal with three a piece. Federer has four titles to his name.

For Federer, his American tour heads east.

"I'm going to leave tonight to Miami, and then I will see how I feel over there. But I will definitely go to that direction and have an event as well over there, so most likely, yes, I will play," Federer said.

Some 431,527 fans attended this year's tournament, and the winner of the men's and women's finals each took home a $1 million dollar prize.

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