World number one Novak Djokovic saw off Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 6-3 to retain his title at Indian Wells on Sunday.
The Serb overcame a mid-match blip on his track to clinching a fourth trophy at the BNP Paribas Open after previous successes in 2008, 2011 and 2014.
“I thought overall it was a great match from my side, very solid great intensity, great commitment to hit every ball,” said Djokovic.
The top seed thus becomes the only other man after Federer to win the tournament four times.
The reigning Australian Open champion finished off the opening set against the 17-time Grand Slam winner with the same imperious efficiency he had showcased in his semi-final stroll over Andy Murray on Saturday.
He dropped just four points on serve in the opening set, causing problems for the Swiss with his deep penetrating returns.
Federer broke back at 4-3 in the second set to force a tie break, which he took as Djokovic blasted off two double-faults while serving for the championship at 5-4.
The 27-year-old broke early into the deciding set and looked to have reclaimed dominance at 2-0 up, but Federer broke back.
And when the 33-year-old double-faulted in subsequent games, there was no more letting off for Djokovic who broke and then held for victory.
“Credit for Roger for fighting through. Showed again why he’s a competitor and champion, somebody that never gives up,” Djokovic, who moved above coach Boris Becker with his 50th career ATP Tour title, continued. “When we got to the third set obviously it was anybody’s game.”
Federer said: “Novak did well to obviously sustain the lead for most of the match. I think he found an extra gear in the end it was tough.”