Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Thiem and Andreescu emerge champions at Indian Wells

Thiem and Andreescu emerge champions at Indian Wells

Dominic Thiem on Sunday claimed his first Masters 1000 title after coming from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

But Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam victor who claimed a remarkable 100th career title in Dubai last month, can afford to take the defeat in stride - especially when he's playing well and feels his 37-year-old body is fully fit.

"I came from a really bad form in all categories, and now I'm the champion of Indian Wells".

The 25-year-old Thiem, who will rise four places to a career-high world number four on Monday, paid tribute to his opponent. I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly. You deserve it". "He stayed cool under pressure there. However, two missed break points and an uncharacteristically poor service game in the second set saw Federer allow Thiem back into the match and the Austrian then broke the 20-times Grand Slam champion to take the final into a deciding third set. He was beaten in a third-set tiebreaker by Juan Martin del Potro past year.

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"I think it's not my right to congratulate you, you have 88 more titles than me", Thiem told Federer as he accepted the trophy, calling it a privilege to play against the 37-year-old superstar. "Against Roger, Rafa, Novak, and some other guys, you have to beat not only the player, but also the great aura they have and all these titles they have won". Interestingly, Djokovic had played in the doubles draw at the Indian Wells Masters with Fognini as his partner.

Thiem was under attack early, saving three break points before succumbing on a fourth in the second game as Federer raced to a 3-0 lead. After beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals for the first time in their three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem took out Federer for the first time on a hard court. The hours logged on the practise court were evident and Thiem delivered a high-quality brand of attacking tennis that gave no indication of his 3-4 record to start the season.

"It has been a great week for me even though it didn't work out today", he said.

James earned the first break in the third game of the match when Roger sent a forehand long and scored another break in game five to open up a massive 4-1 lead.

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