Roger Federer defeated his compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to record a memorable fifth win at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday night. Federer, 36, did not drop a single set throughout the tournament and produced a masterful display of tennis in the final.
He was perhaps somewhat fortunate that his quarter-final opponent Nick Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from their match with suspected food poisoning. The Australian had been in fine form himself, knocking out world number one Novak Djokovic but he couldn’t bring himself to take to the court.
Wawrinka made a tearful tribute to Federer in defeat, revealing the extent of his admiration for his rival. “I would like to congratulate Roger,” Wawrinka said, with tears in his eyes as he glanced over at Federer. “He’s laughing. He’s an a******, but it’s OK.”
“I lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia I was still your biggest fan so congratulations for your comeback and congratulations for today. Anybody who loves to watch tennis loves to watch you so it’s always good to see you back at that level, hopefully for many years.”
Meanwhile, England’s hopes of winning 19 consecutive rugby matches were denied by a passionate display from the Irish in Dublin. Their 13-9 victory also prevented England winning back to back Grand Slams. Owen Farrell kicked three penalties for the Red Rose, but heroic defending from Ireland kept the visitors from scoring any tries.
Arsenal fell to their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches, succumbing to West Brom’s aerial bombardment in a 3-1 loss at the Hawthorns on Saturday. The civil war between Gunners fans who want Arsene Wenger sacked, and those who still keep faith in the most successful manager in the clubs’s history, stepped up a notch this weekend.
Pro ‘Wengerites’ paid for a plane to fly a banner over West Brom’s stadium which read “IN ARSENE WE TRUST #RESPECT AW”, while anti-Wenger Gooners paid for an airborne message stating “NO CONTRACT #WENGER OUT”. Rumours are circulating that the 67-year-old has decided to take up the option of extending his contract by two more years, an offer that has been on the table for a few months.
Liverpool and Manchester City played out an enthralling 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon, with managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp both furious with referee Michael Oliver on various occasions. Guardiola told the sceptical media after the game that the exciting, end-to-end game had been “one of the happiest days of my life”.