World No. 1 Novak Djokovic captured a record fifth BNP Paribas Open crown in emphatic style on Sunday as he defeated Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 in the Indian Wells final.
Victory sees the Serb draw level with Rafael Nadal on 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns and extends the ‘Big Four’ dominance at this level, with Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray having won 49 of the past 53 Masters 1000 tournaments.
The 28-year-old Djokovic has a 46-6 tournament record at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, winning the title in 2008, 2011 and then completing the three-peat between 2014-16. He also reached the final in 2007, finishing runner-up to Nadal.
Since battling past young American talent Bjorn Fratangelo in three sets in his opening second-round match, Djokovic has gone from strength to strength, not dropping a set as he raced to his 62nd tour-level title in the desert.
Raonic had come into the final having lost serve only four times in the tournament, but Djokovic swiftly announced his intent, breaking the Canadian twice as he surged into a 4-0 lead. Raonic stemmed the flow, but could not find a way back into the set as Djokovic wrapped up the opener in 43 minutes, having won more than half the points (52 per cent) on his opponent’s serve.
Raonic left the court for treatment after the first set, but could do nothing to halt Djokovic’s momentum in the second set. Indeed, the Canadian was punished for not winning any of his 14 second serve points as Djokovic broke three times to surge to victory in 88 minutes, having lost only three points on serve in the second set.
Djokovic captured his third title of the season, having opened his season with victory in Doha (d. Nadal) before lifting his 11th Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open (d. Murray).
The Serb earns $1,028,300 in prize money and receives 1000 Emirates ATP Rankings points.
The 25-year-old Raonic had made an impressive return to action after being sidelined with an adductor injury through February. The right-hander was contesting his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final after becoming the first player outside the Top 10 to reach the Indian Wells final since John Isner in 2012.
After runner-up showings in Montreal in 2013 and Paris in 2014, Raonic was bidding to become the first player born in the 1990s to win a Masters 1000 trophy.
Raonic has a 14-2 record on the season, highlighted by winning his eighth ATP World Tour title in Brisbane (d. Federer) and reaching his second Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open (l. to Murray). By making the final, Raonic earns $501,815 in prize money and receives 600 Emirates ATP Rankings points.