Thiem stuns Federer, wins Indian Wells

Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal Who will reach 50 Masters 1000 finals first

The 39th match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal failed to materialise on Saturday as the world number two Spaniard hobbled out of Indian Wells to send Federer into a title clash with Dominic Thiem. Who would have believed Bianca Andreescu would have won this title or that Dominic Thiem's biggest career title would be on a hard court of all surfaces?

"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".

Thiem earned the only break of the second set in the fourth game, going up 3-1.

The world No 7, who will return to his career high of four in the Monday's latest rankings, had lost each of the last two Masters finals in Madrid and the writing looked on the wall in the Californian desert when five-time Indian Wells champion Federer claimed the first set.

"I had to fight to save those break points early in the second set".

It took until the seventh game for Federer to earn the first break point of the third set, but the seventh seed dug deep to edge the 20-time grand slam victor 7-5 after just over two hours on court. Federer held, and then worked a chance to get the vital break, but Thiem was smart in his serving, switching to the forehand wing, drawing errors, and holding, 4-4.

So with two hours on the clock, Thiem served for the match, and did so like a man born to it. Federer netted a forehand, and Thiem fell to the court in celebration, a deserved victor.

"You could definitely feel like every shot in Dominic's game has got some punch behind it". Thiem was resilient, hitting hard and with top spin wide to Federer's backhand, and pulled back from 0-40 down, but after nearly seven minutes, Federer got another chance and took it.

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"It's a pleasure to compete against Roger in this great final".

In the second, it was very almost over in straights as Thiem had to save two break points (effectively match points at that moment) at 1-1.

"I'm not too disappointed", said Federer who was seeking a record 6th Indian Wells title, 101st overall. "I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was on my racquet", Federer said.

"Just came up against somebody who was on the day a bit better when it really mattered".

"I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly".

Federer's own serve lost some of its bite in the crucial game in the third set with the score tied at 5-5. "He covers the net well, so it was good for myself that I could pass him twice". "I was in the points".

"I just got my 100 in Dubai, had a good week here and there's more to look forward to in Miami".

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