Thiem Shocks Federer To Clinch First Masters 1000 Title

Heather Diaz
March 20, 2019

The 25-year-old fired 10 winners in the set, winning 93 percent of the points when he got his first serve into play, and eventually took the opener by lacing a backhand victor down the line.

Thus, Thiem has become only the seventh different Indian Wells champion since 2002 and also the 67th different Masters 1000 victor since the series was established in 1990.

The Austrian did not make an unforced error in the first set and raced off to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak.

However, Thiem managed to stage an impressive comeback with a subsequent double break, making it level after two sets.

Momentum swung in Thiem's favor in the deciding set when he smacked a forehand victor down the line to break Federer and take a 6-5 lead.

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It was the second year in a row that Federer was denied in the Indian Wells final.

The 25-year-old Thiem, who will rise four places to a career-high world number four on Monday, paid tribute to his opponent.

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"It's been a pleasure to play against one of the greatest of all time". "What a great week Dominic has had, congratulations". "I know it's going to be very tough, but at the same time, I will give it everything to hopefully win my first (Masters 1000) title". Wonderful playing at the very end and throughout the week.

Thiem earned the crucial break in the 11th game of the final set, connecting on two sharply angled passing winners off of Federer drop shots to give himself a break point which he converted with a stinging forehand victor.

"I am obviously excited to be in the finals, but not this way", said the 37-year-old Federer.

Federer's own serve lost some of its bite in the crucial game in the third set with the score tied at 5-5.

"I feel like it's not my right to congratulate you, you have 88 more titles than me, so I'm just hoping you play more and we can have some other big finals". "Plus there is more to look forward to in Miami".

Federer's scheduled meeting with Nadal would have been the 39th in their long rivalry and the first since 2017, leaving the Swiss to say "it's a big letdown", a sentiment felt by everyone at Indian Wells.

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