March 19 (Reuters) - A revived Roger Federer beat fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 in the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday to earn a record-tying fifth Indian Wells title and distinction as the tournament's oldest winner.
The win by the 35-year-old Swiss master, who made a stunning return from a six-month layoff by winning the Australian Open in January, capped an impressive run in the California desert in which he did not lose a set the entire way.
The rematch of the Australian Open semi-final saw the close friends hold serve until the 10th game of the opening set when Federer, ahead 5-4, outlasted Wawrinka in a thrilling 21-shot rally for the service break.
Wawrinka, who was making his first appearance in an Indian Wells final, broke right back and held serve to move ahead 2-0 in the ensuing set but Federer never wavered.
Federer now joins Novak Djokovic a five-time winner at the event and becomes the oldest champion in the tournament's history, surpassing Jimmy Connors who was 31 when he triumphed in 1984.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +1-416-941-8094; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))