Skip to main content

Confidence is key for record-breaker Roger Federer

updated 10:14 AM EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer beats John Isner to clinch a record fourth Indian Wells Masters title
  • The former world No. 1 has now won his last three ATP Tour tournaments
  • The 16-time grand slam winner has won 39 and lost just two of his last 41 matches
  • Federer praised Isner's performance, after the he reached the top 10 for the first time

(CNN) -- You can't imagine that one of the greatest players in tennis history has ever lacked confidence, but Roger Federer is bubbling with it again after bouncing back from some heartbreaking defeats in the past few months.

The former world No. 1's record-breaking fourth title at the Indian Wells Masters event in California on Sunday extended his winning run to 15 matches -- and 37 from 39 since Novak Djokovic saved match-point to win their epic U.S. Open semifinal in five sets last September.

Federer won the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals in London, but his bid for a first grand slam title since 2008 ended in the semifinals of January's Australian Open as he lost to longtime rival Rafael Nadal.

He reversed that defeat in the last four on Saturday and now has a 10-18 record against the Spaniard, but denied it was a revenge victory.

"I'm just happy that my run has been so successful and so good," the 30-year-old, who also equaled Nadal's record of 19 Masters 1000 titles, told CNN after beating American John Isner in the final.

I've on an incredible run now ... I'm feeling really good and very happy to play
Roger Federer

"I had a tough loss at the U.S. Open ... it was important that I showed a good reaction. I've on an incredible run now. I've won six of my last eight tournaments and I'm feeling really good and very happy to play. Being on this run and getting some confidence is great."

The 16-time grand slam champion has now collected three consecutive ATP Tour titles, becoming the first man to win four times at Indian Wells -- six years after his last triumph at the U.S. hard-court event.

"I'm confident. Mentally I'm really fresh, despite playing a ton already this year ... I just think overall my game is very good at the moment and I hope I can take advantage of that," he said following his 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 win over the big-serving Isner, who has cracked the top-10 rankings for the first time.

Isner, 10th in this week's ATP listings, reached the final after eliminating world No. 1 Djokovic on Saturday.

"I thought John had a terrific tournament," said Federer. "Now he's installed himself in the top 10, I think he'll stay there for quite some time because he's a player with probably the best serve in the game right now."

Federer said the 26-year-old also makes the most of the height advantage he has over most opponents.

"I think his serve is overall more sound," he said. "He knows when to use which serve. He's volleying well and he's got a great forehand.

"I think he uses his size well and that's why I'm sure he's going to be around for a long time."

Both Federer and Isner will be in action at the Miami Masters, which starts on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT