Roger Federer isn’t the favorite to win at Indian Wells. Right now, any tournament Novak Djokovic signs up for puts him at the top of the list, but Federer is coming in with two consecutive titles in the bag, winning at Rotterdam and later in Dubai. Obviously, he and plenty of others see him as the favorite to win the first Masters tournament of the season.
A 10 match win streak isn’t enough to convince me Federer has an edge over Djokovic, but he certainly is in the best shape on tour right now. On the downside for the world’s number 3 – Nadal is back from letting his aching body rest after the Australian Open, where Nadal beat him in the Semi Final, the norm between the two when they clash in Grand Slam tournaments.
Federer has three trophies from his visits to Indian Wells, but the last of them was in 2006, after beating James Blake in the final. Since then, it’s been three semi finals in the past four years, losing to Novak Djokovic in 2011, before Djokovic dismantled Rafael Nadal.
Obviously, with two titles already in the bag, Federer is feeling quite confident heading into the tranquil California city (if you consider 4000 people a city).
I’ve been feeling good for some time now. I actually came out feeling better at the end of Dubai than I felt at the end of Rotterdam. It’s a good thing looking ahead. I just played Madison Square Garden, and now I play here and Miami too. It’s a tough stretch, but I feel great. I’m playing well at the moment, since many months now.
Federer also spoke with the ATP’s official site about the change in his lifestyle and tournament preferences as he’s gotten older (six months from 31) and suddenly found himself married with two children.
It’s a tournament that I’ve grown to love a lot over the years. I used to like coming here, but I wasn’t a crazy golfer when I was younger or liked the peace and calmness. I was more a guy who liked New York or Miami or sort of places where something was happening, especially as a teenager, so when I came here it was almost a bit too quiet for me.
As time went by, I like these weeks where it’s a bit more calm, weather’s nice, things slow down a bit before the hustle and bustle in other places. Obviously with the success that I’ve had, I started to spend more time here. I got to like it a lot. It’s a good place.
For Federer, who has won the tournament 3 times in the past, it’ll be his 13th appearance in the tournament. Novak Djokovic, who has won the tournament twice, heads in as the no.1 seed. The record for wins in the tournament belongs to Federer, along with Michael Chang and Jimmy Connors. It’ll begin on March 5, with the final planned to take place on March 18.