Novak Djokovic had to come from behind here to beat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in the final of the BNP Paribas Open.

The Serbian's third career win at Indian Wells was also his first triumph of 2014.

Federer, 32, still holds the mark for most BNP Paribas Open titles, having won the event in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

Despite the loss on Sunday, the Swiss player also enjoys a 17-16 record against world No. 2 Djokovic in the 33 matches where the two men have faced each other.

Federer, ranked seventh in the world, grabbed an early break and needed only 31 minutes to win the first set.

The second set featured a much-improved Djokovic, who won the first game with an ace and went on to break his opponent's serve in the eighth as Federer lost a set for the first time in the tournament.

The 26-year-old Serbian broke Federer early in the third set and was ahead 5-4 when the Swiss veteran came roaring back to take a 6-5 lead.

Djokovic battled to 6-6 and won the resulting tiebreaker 3-0.

"As I said before the match today, very few points will decide a winner, and that's what happened," the winner said afterward.

"Roger is playing in a very high level ... He just played better than he did in the last 13, 14 months. I needed to really be in the top of my game and very concentrated the last moment in order to win," Djokovic said.

"It was an interesting end to the match, no doubt," Federer said, describing a 30-minute stretch of the second and third sets "where things could have gone either way."

"But credit to him for toughening it out and winning that second set and getting the breaker in the third," he said of Djokovic. EFE