The BNP Paribas Open is the first of the nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events and combines with the WTA as a Premier Event. It is the largest combined tour event outside of the Grand Slams.
The 2014 edition of the BNP Paribas Open was the most successful tournament in its history as it achieved an attendance milestone of 431,527 fans, surpassing the previous record by nearly 50,000. It also unveiled a brand new 8,000 seat stadium (Stadium 2) and became the first event to have the Hawkeye replay system on every court, and not only on the show courts.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic won the 39th edition when he defeated four-time champion Roger Federer in the thrilling three set final. Despite losing the first set, Djokovic eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).
"As I said before the match today, very few points will decide a winner, and that's what happened," said Djokovic after the victory.
“The way I won this title is something that makes me very happy and gives me mentally a lot of satisfaction because I have had specifically these three matches against [Marin] Cilic and yesterday's semi-final and today's final, situations where I played three sets where it was very tense, very emotional,” he continued.
"A few points really here and there could go either way, and then it went my way. 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."
"Roger is playing in a very high level.... He just played better than he did in the last 13, 14 months. I needed to really be in the top of my game and very concentrated the last moment in order to win. That's what I've done. Very proud of my achievements during this tournament,” he continued.
Federer looked to be in control early as the former World No. 1 stormed through the opening three games of the set on his way to claiming it 6-3 in just 31 minutes.
However Djokovic would not go down without a fight. The second seed obtained a break of his own, in the eighth game of the second set when Federer pushed a forehand wide.
At one set all, the match was pushed to a decider. Federer managed to save three break points against him in the third, before a string of forehand errors handed Djokovic a 2-1 lead. The 26-year-old then served for the match, but similar to his semi-final against John Isner, he failed to seal the victory at that stage. Federer refused to go away, and the final was to be decided in a tiebreaker.
However, the higher ranked Serbian took the mini-break and marched away to 5-1 lead. He needed two championship points but he ultimately claimed the title after two hours and 12 minutes.
Interestingly enough though, despite overcoming Federer to win the championship, Djokovic only won exactly one more point than Federer in the match’s entirety; 99 to 98.
"It was an interesting end to the match, no doubt," Federer said after his first loss in five finals at Indian Wells.
"But I think he played well. At the end he made sure he kept the ball in play and I might have made a few too many errors when it really mattered. But I think he made a crucial sort of 20 minutes, half and hour midway through the second set and third set where things could have gone either way. But credit to him for toughening it out and winning that second set and getting the breaker in the third."
The victory marked Djokovic’s 42nd career title and his 17th at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. He also improved his head to head record against the Swiss great to 16-17. Djokovc earned himself $1 million and 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points as the victor of the season’s first Masters 1000 tournament whilst the 32-year-old Federer collected $500,000 and 600 points.
Tournament Director Raymond Moore hopes for another successful edition in 2015 as he edges closer to his goal of attracting 500,000 fans to the BNP Paribas Open ATP Indian Wells.
The 40th edition of the BNP Paribas Open will take place between 9 March – 23 March 2015.