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Federer Wins Record-Tying 19th Masters Title; Azarenka Goes 23-0

Roger Federer took his record-tying 19th Masters tennis title by beating John Isner in the BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells, California.

Federer, the No. 3 seed from Switzerland, defeated No. 11 Isner 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 yesterday to avenge a loss to the American in the Davis Cup last month. Federer has won 39 of his past 41 matches since a loss in the U.S. Open semifinals.

Federer, who received $1 million for winning a record fourth title at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, has won three straight tournaments in a 15-0 run since losing to Isner. Federer also won in Indian Wells from 2004-06 and his latest success puts him level with Rafael Nadal on 19 Masters 1000 titles, the tier below the four Grand Slams.

“It’s been a long time since I have been this successful here,” Federer, 30, told reporters. “It’s nice taking it all the way and getting victories.”

The 6-foot-9 Isner, 26, had reached the final with his first career victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Federer knocked off second-seeded Nadal in the semis to improve to 10-18 in career meetings against the Spaniard, whom he lost to in January’s Australian Open semifinals.

Victoria Azarenka won the women’s title yesterday, lifting her record this year to 23-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Maria Sharapova in a rematch of the women’s final at Melbourne Park.

The top-ranked Belarusian received $1 million and is 5-3 all-time against Russia’s Sharapova. Azarenka’s start is the best in women’s tennis since Martina Hingis opened the 1997 season on a 37-0 run. Azarenka has won all four tournaments she’s played this year, with titles in Sydney and Doha along with the Australian Open and Indian Wells victories

“Last year was a learning experience for me,” Azarenka said after beating Sharapova. “I had a lot of tough losses last year and so now I’m really trying to turn it around in my own favor. I never dreamed this would happen.”

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