Federer's March Form An ATP Rankings Indicator

World No. 1 Roger Federer will soon begin his quest for a fourth ‘Sunshine Double’ at the of 36. The March title feat requires ATP World Tour stars to make big adjustments in order to master the dry, thinner desert air of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the humidity and windy conditions of the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Seven players, since the ATP World Tour’s top tier Masters 1000 events were established in 1990, have lifted the Indian Wells and Miami titles back-to-back — Jim Courier (1991), Michael Chang (1992), Pete Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001), Federer (2005-06, 2017) and Novak Djokovic (2011 and 2014-16). In Federer's three 'Sunshine Double' years, he finished the season at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on two occasions (2005-06) and at No. 2 in 2017.

Federer’s game has historically hit top gear on the west and east coasts of the United States, going 57-11, with five titles (2004-06, 2012 and 2017) in Indian Wells, and 50-13, with three titles (2005-06, 2017) in Miami. With a 350-99 overall match wins tally at Masters 1000 tournaments, his 107-24 combined mark at March’s two events showcases his ability to adapt to the conditions.

Twelve months ago, on the eve of Indian Wells, Federer had an 8-1 season mark. He beat fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 Indian Wells final and subsequently went on to complete a third ‘Sunshine Double’ with victory over Nadal in the Miami final. Federer has started 2018 in fine form, once again, and is 12 matches unbeaten, following trophies at the Australian Open (d. Cilic) and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Dimitrov).

Watch 2017 Indian Wells Final Highlights

His dominance on hard courts since the start of 2017, as noted in a recent FedEx ATP Performance Zone analysis, sees Federer at 52-4 (92.9 per cent), with seven of his nine trophies on the surface. So Federer starts as the favourite to capture his sixth Indian Wells crown, which would represent his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. Only Djokovic and Rafael Nadal (30) have won more.

But as the oldest No. 1 in ATP Rankings history (since 1973), the Swiss superstar will first look to add to his current 305 weeks in the top spot with a semi-final showing in the Californian desert. If he loses earlier than the semi-finals, Nadal would regain No. 1. View Federer's ATP Rankings Breakdown

Federer's five title runs in Indian Wells have all paved the way for a Top 2 finish in the year-end ATP Rankings, but he has only once before come into the Masters 1000 tournament unbeaten. In 2007, Federer was also a perfect 12-0 on his arrival in California, but he lost in the Indian Wells opening round to Guillermo Canas. Will 2018 be different? His performances this month may well help improve his chances of a sixth year-end No. 1 finish (2004-07, '09).


Indian Wells Title
Pre-Indian Wells Match W-L Season Match W-L Titles/Finals
Year-End ATP Ranking
16-1 74-6 11/11
20-1 81-4 11/12
16-1 92-5 12/16
2012 17-3 71-12 6/10 2
8-1 52-5 7/8 2
«März 2018»