World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and Swiss star Roger Federer will meet for the second time so far this season on Sunday evening in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. This will be an opportunity for the Serb to avenge his recent loss to Federer in Dubai, while picking up his first title of the year and his third in the California Desert. Of their 32 professional encounters, the Federer vs Djokovic Head to Head stands at 17-15.
Second seed Novak Djokovic faced the tougher of the two semi-final contests as he survived a gruelling battle to eventually avenge his loss to John Isner two years ago at Indian Wells. The Serb earned the 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1 win and will now vie for his 17th ATP Masters 1000 title. He will also be looking to avenge his loss to Federer several weeks back at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
“Whenever we play each other it’s always a huge challenge for both of us and very few points can decide the winner,” said Djokovic. “I do not expect anything less tomorrow. I just hope for myself that I will be able to perform on a high level, because I’m going to need to do that in order to get a chance to win against him.”
“Every single match that we play against each other is always at the later stages of tournaments because we’re at the top of the men’s game for last seven, eight years,” Djokovic added, referring to Federer. “So it’s always tense. It’s always emotional. It’s always close.
Federer breezed into his third final this season, dispatching of resurgent Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets to set up the rematch against Djokovic. Federer only lost four games in the entire match and cruised through his service games, rarely facing any form of resistance. Federer has yet to drop a set this week, and extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He won his 78th title ahead of Indian Wells at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Tomas Berdych in the final. His victory over Djokovic in Dubai was his first against the Serb since the 2012 Cincinnati Master.
“I think we have had great matches always. I think we have played here as well before, if I’m not mistaken,” said Federer, following his win. “So it’s one of those matches I think we both know what to expect going into, and even more so maybe now that we have just played in Dubai and also in Paris and London at the end of last year.
“So we played quite a bit recently, which helps both of us with some info. We don’t have to go way back. I think he’s fresh and eager to really try and win this if he makes the finals clearly, because he hasn’t played many tournaments yet this season. I think he really wants it, and that’s going to be a challenge for me to accept that and fight that with good play myself.”