Roger Federer wrote the history of Indian Wells in 2006, becoming the first player with three consecutive titles in the desert. Roger began the season with trophies in Doha and the Australian Open before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final in Dubai.
The Swiss was the favorite in Indian Wells, and he showed it on the court to extend his streak. Roger beat Nicolas Massu, Olivier Rochus, Richard Gasquet, Ivan Ljubicic and Paradorn Srichaphan to secure a place in the final.
He faced local star James Blake in the title clash and scored a 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 triumph to become the first player in tournament history with three consecutive crowns! The match lasted one hour and 43 minutes, and was their third meeting, with Roger taking them all in straight sets.
Federer lost serve twice, which didn’t cost him much after a strong performance on the return. The Swiss stole 53% of the points on Blake’s serve and created 16 break chances, converting seven to seal the deal in the latest best-of-five Indian Wells final.
Roger Federer claimed his third straight Indian Wells title in 2006.
Federer took charge after a tight opener and marched towards the finish line. He hit more winners and fewer unforced errors than his opponent and forced many errors with his sharp, aggressive groundstrokes.
The American couldn’t find the area with his initial serve and forehand. He trailed far behind in the shorter exchanges of up to four shots and allowed Federer to have the upper hand in the longer and midrange exchanges and take home the win in style.
James earned the first break in the third game of the match when Roger hit a long forehand. The American scored another 3-1 lead to take a huge lead and get off to a good start. Facing a mountain to climb if he wanted to get back on the positive side of the scoreboard, the Swiss started the chase with a break at love in the sixth game.
He reduced the deficit and gathered momentum before the rest of the set. James built a 5-3 lead on a service winner in game eight and served for the first set at 5-4. Federer created three break points which Blake successfully defended before committing a double fault in the fourth to tie the world no.
1 back in contention. The momentum was now on Roger’s side, and he grabbed a loveless break in game 12 to steal the opener 7-5 and gain momentum after rattling off four straight games. Federer overcame his service games in set number two and stole James’ serve in game eight with a game-winning volley to open a gap to 5-3 and serve for the set in the next game.
A backhand winner sealed the deal for him in another comfortable service game, carving out a 7-5, 6-3 lead and having a great chance to clinch the match in the next set. Blake had nothing else left in the tank and he was broken three times in the third set.
Federer fired a service winner in game six to deliver a bagel and celebrate his third straight Indian Wells title after winning 14 of the last 17 games.