In what will go down as one of the greatest matches ever played at the Indian Wells Masters Juan Martin del Potro beat Federer in the final, after three gruelling sets 6-4 6-7 7-6.
Del Potro claimed a stunning four-set win over Federer at the US Open in September previous year, but Federer won their last meeting in Basel a month later.
Juan Martin Del Potro holds the championship trophy after defeating Roger Federer (not pictured) in the men's finals in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Federer was all class during his runner's up speech. It was only Del Potro's seventh victory over Federer in 25 career meetings.
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"I'm still shaking I'm so nervous".
"It's hard to describe with words", he said. "After all my problems, after all my surgeries, I couldn't believe I'm here winning a Masters 1000 and beating Roger", Del Potro said.
Del Potro has regained form over the past two seasons but although he entered Sunday's final on a 10-match winning streak, he was still inevitably playing underdog to Swiss world No1 Federer.
The Argentine seized the opening set and had a match point in the second set tie break but misfired on a forehand - usually his most dependable weapon - to allow the 36-year-old Swiss back into the match.
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Del Potro, however, had other ideas and managed to force the deciding set into a tiebreak, which he eventually won by a comfortable 7-2 scoreline, handing him a 7-6 win in the set and the Indian Wells title.
Meanwhile Unseeded Naomi Osaka claimed her first WTA title with an emphatic victory over Daria Kasatkina at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. "I'm doing this because I love it", said the 29-year-old.
Del Potro complained to the umpire at the changeover about the noise from a crowd that was largely supporting Federer in an increasingly feisty encounter.
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer, however, kept his composure and took the second set 7-6 to tie the match at one set apiece, brilliantly coping with the pressure of having to save a match point. I won a couple of finals and lost a couple of finals. "It should sting", Federer said.
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"As close as it can be sometimes when you're not feeling it or momentum has shifted, it's just insane how it can go the other way".