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Novak Djokovic said it was “greatly important” that he defeated Roger Federer in the Indian Wells ATP Masters final as it was his first title success of 2014.
The Serbian world number two, who had won in Indian Wells in 2008 and 2011, gained immediate revenge on the in-form world number five Federer for his defeat in Dubai a fortnight ago, coming back from a set down to claim a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) victory in two hours and 12 minutes.
It was Djokovic’s 42nd singles career crown and the six-times Grand Slam champion felt it was one of his most important because he wanted the confidence boost of a first taste of success this year.
And he is now hopeful that it will help him go into next week’s Sony Open on a high as the American hard-court season continues in Miami.
The 26-year-old told Sky Sports: “I’ve played many matches, only two tournaments, so it was greatly important for me to get a title (because) it’s already March.
“The way I had the previous four, five years, I was winning at least a title coming into the American hard-court season, so this year was a little bit different. I felt a bit different and I was doubting myself on the court.
“But this tournament definitely means a lot to me and my confidence. Hopefully I’ll carry it into Miami next week.”