Roger Federer thought James Blake's play early in their match looked familiar.
"He played aggressively, took the ball early, put away his forehands when he could, didn't miss on the backhand, made me run around," Federer said. "That's usually what I do. He gave me a little bit of my own medicine."
Only a small dose, as it turned out.
After falling behind 4-1 in the opening set, the top-ranked Federer came back to beat Blake 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 on Sunday for his unprecedented third consecutive Pacific Life Open championship.
"He really got the better of me in the beginning, so I had to react and not panic," Federer said. "I did a good job there.
"In the end, I played fantastic tennis, with some great shots once again. To pull them off in a final, it's always a nice feeling. The form is excellent right now."
The championship signaled that Federer is back in top form following his lone loss of the year, to Rafael Nadal in Dubai this month. With the Indian Wells title, Federer kept intact his personal record of having never lost finals in consecutive tournaments.
Blake, No. 14 and assured of moving into the top 10 for the first time when the rankings come out this week, said Federer simply turned it on after he fell behind.
"Along with a couple of mistakes by me at the end of that first set, he really picked his level up and played unbelievably, put pressure on all my service games, was kind of cruising on his," Blake said.
"Instead of making him come up with a great passing shot, I went for too much, ended up missing, gave him freebies. You can't do that against the No. 1 player in the world."