Federer on 'dream start' after winning Indian Wells title
By BETH HARRIS
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Forget the comeback talk. Roger Federer is back.
He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open title in an all-Swiss final Sunday to go with his record 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January after missing most of last year with various injuries.
"For me, the dream run continues," he said.
Federer kept reminding everyone during the ATP Masters 1000 event that he was "on the comeback" and, wanting to see how he felt, hadn't planned beyond the first three months of year.
He might want to think bigger now.
"This was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells. The goal was to be top 8 by after Wimbledon, so I'm there much, much faster," he said. "I will make the plan for the remainder of the season, especially for the clay, after Miami, and then see also what the goals are because the goals are clearly changing after this dream start."
Federer tied the tourney record of Novak Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round, while winning his 90th career title. He remains third behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl on the all-time list in the Open era.
At 35 years and seven months, Federer became the oldest champion in the desert tournament's history, surpassing Connors, who was 31 years and five months when he won in 1981.
"It's an absolute huge start to the year for me," he said. "Last year didn't win any titles. The change is dramatic and it feels great."
His twin daughters cheered and jumped up and down in a box above the court when Federer put away a high forehand volley while keeping Wawrinka pinned deep behind the baseline on match point.
Federer dropped serve just once in five matches, losing the first game of the second set against No. 3 seed Wawrinka. He saved one break point against Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, and never lost a set in the tournament. Seeded ninth, Federer advanced to the semifinals via walkover when Nick Kyrgios withdrew.
"The way he's playing is just so beautiful," Wawrinka said. "Everything looks perfect. He's moving amazingly well. He has amazing touch. He's doing everything you can do on the tennis court."
In an all-Russian women's final, Elena Vesnina defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4.
She and Federer earned $1,175,505 each.
Federer will move up four spots to No. 6 in the ATP world rankings on Monday.
He hit 23 winners, including 16 off his backhand in the 80-minute match. Wawrinka had 17 winners and 21 unforced errors in front of the announced crowd of 17,382 that didn't fill the stadium.
Federer improved to 20-3 against Wawrinka, including 15-0 on hard courts. Wawrinka's wins have all been on clay.
"He's the best player ever, so we all used to lose against him," Wawrinka said.
Vesnina had never advanced beyond the third round in singles and just last year she lost in the first round of qualifying, although she has won three doubles titles at the tournament. She beat No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber and No. 12 Venus Williams on her way to the biggest final of her career at age 30.
Kuznetsova is 0-3 in finals here, also finishing runner-up in 2007 and 2008.
At 31, Kuznetsova was the fifth-oldest women to reach the final. But the two-time major champion struggled with the lead while playing in front of hundreds of empty seats.
"I didn't feel good today because she was very aggressive and I was a little bit out of my game," said Kuznetsova, the No. 8 seed. "I couldn't figure out a lot the wind and stuff like that."
Kuznetsova led 4-2 in the third before 14th-seeded Vesnina broke her twice in sweeping the final four games of the match.
Kuznetsova served one of her nine aces to lead 4-1 in the second, prompting Vesnina to bring out her coach-father Sergey Vesnin for a chat.
Vesnina reeled off four straight games to lead 5-4. Her forehand error led to Kuznetsova's break in the 10th game that tied it 5-all. But Vesnina broke back and served out the set 7-5.
"She had so many break points on my serve," Vesnina said. "She was 30-love up couple of times on her serves, and I always keep coming back."
Kuznetsova had luck on her side early, winning the first set on a net cord in the tiebreaker. She gave the traditional wave acknowledging her good fortune to Vesnina, who had blown leads of 2-0 and 4-2.
Vesnina had 46 winners and 49 unforced errors. She successfully gambled at the net, winning 24 of 32 points during the three-hour match.
Vesnina earned her third career singles title and will move up two spots to a career-high No. 13 in the world rankings on Monday.
Updated March 20, 2017
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Kirk gives us today's headlines: John Kerry is switching islands. Jesse Watters makes odd comment about Ivanka Trump. Marty Walsh comments on the Boston 2024 book. Pre-NFL Draft talk.
Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?
Larry Army Jr., Kyle Kennedy's attorney, joins Kirk, Gerry and Meter to talk about yesterday's press conference and elaborate on a few of his comments.
The mass lay offs at ESPN continue for a second day. And are you watching Chris Sale take on the Yankees or the NFL draft tonight?
One more win for the C's means a ticket to the second round. But should we be feeling confident? The draft starts tonight and the Patriots don't seem to have any intention of participating in the first few rounds.
Following the Sox loss to the Yankees, Lou comes out swinging on managers and writers alike.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Celtics win and how the C's should go for the kill shot on Friday and not let this series linger any longer than it has to.
Keefe and Holley are all up in each other's faces on this argument. We compare eras, playing style, positions and much more and take your calls.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Sox and how a typically raucous Yankees series seems much more subdued this year.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.More from this show
Hour 1. Kirk, Gerry and Meter go over the long list of ESPN employees that were let go yesterday, and realize a certain pair of names not on the list. The callers weigh in on the public's influence on ESPN.More from this show
Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.More from this show