Novak Djokovic continued his domination of men’s tennis with a 6-2, 6-0 win against Milos Raonic in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Sunday.
The Serbian raced to victory in one hour 17 minutes to move to 22-1 for the year and tie Rafa Nadal with a record-equalling 27th ATP Masters 1000 crown.
Djokovic, who beat Nadal 7-6, 6-2 in the semi-final, also maintained his perfect record against Raonic as he won their sixth career meeting.
“Best match of the tournament for me today and probably the worst for Milos,” said Djokovic. “He was not feeling his best and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
“He just told me that he might have injured the same part of the leg as he did at the Australian Open, which took him off the tour for a month.”
The Canadian suffered a groin injury at the Australian Open in January, but Djokovic showed his opponent no mercy as he claimed his fifth title at Indian Wells.
“It’s sad to have the finals like this in one way but I played a great tournament. I’ve got to be happy with what I’ve done from my side today,” he added.
“Every time he would miss the first serve, I was on top of the second serve. I was not allowing him to control the pace from the baseline, I moved him around the court. Tactically, I did everything right.”
Victoria Azarenka upset world number one Serena Williams to claim the women’s title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Williams was playing in the tournament for the first time in 14 years, after taking a self-imposed exile from the event over allegations of racial abuse from fans after sister Venus pulled out minutes before their semi-final in 2001.
Azarenka took full advantage of some erratic play from her opponent, with the American making 33 unforced errors during the game.
The two-time Australian Open champion served out the first set to love, before resisting Williams’ fightback in the second to clinch her 19th WTA Tour title.
The finals were shrouded in controversy following comments about the women’s game made by Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore.
During a Sunday morning news conference, Moore said that the WTA Tour was “very, very lucky” because it “rides on the coat-tails of the men”.
“If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have,” Moore said.
Williams responded with great poise to Moore’s “offensive” statement, which he later retracted, calling the remarks “mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate”.
She added: “If I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister, I couldn’t even bring up that number.”
But the highlight of the day belonged once again to Djokovic, who argued that men’s tennis should fight for more prize money than women because it had a greater viewership.
Novak Djokovic is being scrutinised for his 'sexist' comments. He has a valid point; 5 sets, higher viewing figures. pic.twitter.com/ePFvYZcQwx
— Liam (@OffsideLiam) March 21, 2016