Two of the all-time greats - Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka - will battle for the BNP Paribas Open title in Indian Wells on Sunday. Here are 10 Things To Know about this all-Swiss blockbuster:
1. This is a rematch of their marathon Australian Open semifinal. Before his five set win over Nadal in the final, Federer needed five sets to get past Wawrinka in the semifinals of the Australian Open this year too - he battled three hours and five minutes for a 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3 victory.
2. Federer dominates the head-to-head, but it’s a little tighter these days. Federer is 19-3 against Wawrinka, but that started as 13-1 - in the last three years Federer is 6-2. Wawrinka’s three wins are all on clay at Monte Carlo in 2009, Monte Carlo again in 2014, and the French Open in 2015.
3. Wawrinka is battle-hardened going into the final. He was pushed to third set tie-breaks in back-to-back matches in the fourth round (against Nishioka) and quarterfinals (against Thiem). Nishioka even served for the match twice in the third set before Wawrinka squeaked it out, 3-6 6-3 7-6(4).
4. Federer, meanwhile, has cruised. Not only has Federer not lost a set this tournament, he hasn’t even dropped serve - he’s held 37 of 37 service games this tournament. That held strong against his greatest rival Nadal - Nadal is the only player who’s even gotten to break point on Federer here.
5. Wawrinka’s going for his second Masters 1000 title. His first came at Monte Carlo in 2014 (beating Federer in the final). He’s 1-2 lifetime in Masters 1000 finals, the runner-up finishes coming at Rome in 2008 (falling to Djokovic in the final) and Madrid in 2013 (falling to Nadal in the final).
6. Federer’s going for his milestone 25th Masters 1000 title (and fifth Indian Wells title). Overall, he has a 24-18 record in Masters 1000 finals and a 4-2 record in Indian Wells finals. His 24 Masters 1000 titles puts him third on the all-time list, behind Djokovic (who has 30) and Nadal (who has 28).
He’s also going for his milestone 90th overall ATP World Tour title (win or lose Federer will stay third on the list for most ATP World Tour titles in the Open Era, after Connors’ 109 and Lendl’s 94).
7. Wawrinka’s been exceptional in finals lately. He’s won 11 of his last 12 finals at all levels - his only loss in a final since the start of 2014 was at St. Petersburg last fall (to Alexander Zverev).
8. Federer’s been exceptional against Top 10 players this year. Flawless, actually - he’s 5-0, four wins coming in Australia (Berdych, Nishikori, Wawrinka and Nadal) and one more here (Nadal).
9. The Big Four have been dominating the Masters 1000 events lately. The group of Murray, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have won 20 of the last 21 Masters 1000s titles, a stretch that dates back to Tsonga’s win in Canada in 2014 (the only exception since then: Cilic in Cincinnati last year).
10. You can watch this match on Tennis Channel. The BNP Paribas Open men's championship will air on replay on Tennis Channel on Sunday - click here to check the TV schedule page! And for a taste of what’s to come, here are some highlights from their Australian Open semifinal: