Thiem Takes Down Federer For First Masters Crown At Indian Wells
by Sean Randall | March 17th, 2019, 11:58 pm
  • 15 Comments

I said in my preview that when it came down crunch time, Dominic Thiem wouldn’t be able to put away Roger Federer. But tonight, in a hard-fought final between the two, Thiem didn’t flinch when he got his chance to take down the GOAT, serving it out at 15 to win the biggest title of his lifetime 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in just over two hours.

“It’s unreal,” said Thiem. “It’s a pleasure to compete against Roger in this great final. I lost my last two Masters 1000 finals, but I won this one and it feels as nice as a Grand Slam.

“It was a great week and I think also a very good final today. Just amazing that I got here, my first really big title. I came from a really bad form in all categories and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells. It feels not real at all.”

Thiem came out absolutely blasting the ball, but Federer wasn’t fazed. He had never lost a set to Thiem before on hardcourts in two previous meetings, and while you could tell Roger was going to have trouble staying with the Austrian off the ground, Federer had a good, early groove going on his serve, and solid read on Thiem’s.

Federer drew first blood (and would literally draw blood later) right away breaking Thiem in the second game, then again after Theim got back on serve at 3-4. Roger was in full command rolling to a brisk 6-3 first set.

Thiem was playing well and his court position was good, but his serve simply wasn’t bothering Federer.

In the second, it was very nearly over in straights as Thiem had to save two break points (effectively match points at that moment) at 1-1. Once he held, he then began to get his serve and his game in full gear.

And it didn’t take long for it to show.

Perhaps deflated from failing to break, Federer was quickly broken in that next 2-1 game. Suddenly Thiem was in full control and the 25-year-old rode that serve to a 6-3 set to even things up and force a decider.

Both guys kept dominating on their service games early in the third until Federer finally got another break chance at 3-4, 30-40, but Thiem held.

It looked like a another final set breaker in the desert was in store until Thiem hit back-to-back winners off Federer drop shots that set himself up for the break.

With the match now on his racquet, Thiem coolly and calmly served it out at 15 to claim the biggest trophy of his career.

“I was in the zone the whole match,” said Thiem. “I had to get used to Roger’s game. In the first set he was playing amazing. It was completely different from my opponents before him. I was struggling to work my way into the match. I had to fight to save those break points early in the second set. It was a very good match until the end and I had to fight to serve it out.”

Thiem began the year just 3-4 but beat two guys this weekend he had never before taken a set off of on hardcourts. He’ll jump from No. 8 in the ranking a new career-high and above Federer at No. 4.

For Roger, a second straight heartbreaking defeat in the Indian Wells final where he has now finished second four of the last five times he’s played the event. And in the final, he was just 2/11 on break chances and was overpower from the baseline.

“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. I just came up against somebody who was on the day a bit better when it really mattered.

“That’s how it goes. It’s frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent, but I have been in these positions so many times.

“I have been playing every single day for the last three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact.”

Yup, March Madness is here. 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?


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15 Comments for Thiem Takes Down Federer For First Masters Crown At Indian Wells

Van Persie Says:

Thiem boy did it😉
Told you so😁


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
What took him so long?

I like that Canadian girl, both results came my way, it happens rarely, I should have placed some money, bugger:(


Van Persie Says:

Well, WB, better later than never :) Glad for Dom.

As for Bianca, I did not expect her to beat Angie. I like her game and attitude :)


Wog Boy Says:

I haven’t seen final, but I have seen Svitolina match and I can tell you Bianca is one very determined, powerful, strong willed girl, with a worse memory I have seen in tennis, she was able immediately to forget missed points and play new one like previous never happened. She was also able to find that extra strength when it was obvious that she is struggling physically.
Great future if she stays grounded as she is now, she is only 18, ah those Romanian girls, pardon, Canadian;)


FedExpress Says:

Fed’s inabiltiy to play the big points well and be steady under pressure since IW 2018 is worrying.


Van Persie Says:

“Fed’s inabiltiy to play the big points well and be steady under pressure since IW 2018 is worrying.”….for some ;)
Maybe Thiem was just too good :D

WB,

Bianca is vey mature in some aspects, but she is 18, she plays without pressure and this might help her a lot :)

Well, the Canadian Tennis Federation invested a lot a money in Bianca, they saw her potential, she chose to represent Canada, …so she is Canadian :)…but Romanians love her and she loves them back ;)


Madmax Says:

Totally understandable. You have to be happy for Thiem. A long time coming. Of course sad that Fed did not win, but no longer stay in that zone for long.

FedExpress, your words – lets change them shall we:

FedExpress Says:
Fed’s inabiltiy to play the big points well and be steady under pressure since IW 2018 is worrying.

March 18th, 2019 at 4:16 am

FedExpress’ inability to watch Federer play the big points and stay steady, under pressure is unsurprising.

You should stop watching him from hereon in. It does you no good when he loses.

Federer however, has already moved on. Hopefully he analyses those misses and learns from them.

Hallejuah George! Come on Fed, for the next tournament. We move on.

Congrats to the new generation. This is long awaited, long delayed and if my memory serves me well, Margot, he is on your list of players who have connected with you a while back and who you would watch, (not wishing to take away Andy’s place in your heart of course).


Giles Says:

I knew he’d wear the old man down. Well done Domi!


RZ Says:

Interesting stat that I heard on the commentary yesterday… Apparently in 2018 Thiem had the fastest average forehand and backhand speeds. They said that during this tournament he was averaging a faster forehand speed than last year.


Daniel Says:

Yeah RZ, he was hitting the ball pretty hard. But I think the main thing yesterday was heim hitting deep, even with not conceiving the baseline and hitting a lot of half strokes. Fed was able to charge the net as he did the other matches and at some point in third set he was rushing the net trying to show “variation”. He wasnt able to dictate with his FH because Thiem was keeing him at the back court.

But even so, the match was decided by pretty slimm margins. Had Fed made that easy FH when Thiem served 3-4 0-30 when Thiem was not in the shot and the ball was out by centimenter in the open court, the history would be different. Tthat same game FEd was able to get the BP first, emanign he would defintley break. And with the break and quick serving 5-3 I bet he would have won. That single mistake cost him the match and title. Together wiht Thiem brave game. This courts also are great for Nadal, Thiem, DelPo, Kachanov, Raonic, players who use the extra time to find their groove.


lylenubbins Says:

Good for Thiem. Fed had his chances but Dom also played great down the stretch. The back-to-back insane gets followed by the crosscourt winners . . . Dom deserved the win.


SG1 Says:

Fed seemed to be playing quite a bit of defense yesterday. Thiem’s power definitely made him uncomfortable. If the court had played faster than Fed would have won the match comfortably. Thiem seemed to have lots of time to power up.

I don’t think that Federer has lost a step so much as he’s lost a little pop on his shots. It seemed to show on that slower Indian Wells hard court.


SG1 Says:

Thiem definitely deserved the win!


the_mind_reels Says:

@Daniel: agreed. Thiem played extremely well off the ground, but Federer did have some real chances to make things go differently. The point that sticks out in my mind was the 30-30 point at 5-5 in the third set. Federer hit a great first serve, Thiem coughed up a weak sitter mid-court, and instead of punishing the ball with a forehand, Federer hit a poor dropshot that Thiem chased down and then converted the ensuing BP. Oh well!

As so often happens in our sport, the slimmest of margins. Congrats to Thiem and fans for the win! A huge one, no doubt, and it was good to see smiles from both guys at the net after the match.


Daniel Says:

Yeah TMH, Fed had already hitt a previous FH drop shot in similar positon 30-15 up and Thiem made the passing, think Fed thought of hititng again trying to caught Thiem by surprise: noone would hit 2 straight FH drop shots sitters at 5-5 third set right? hehe You have to give it to Fed as he is bold.
Had Thiem missed the passing or the drop was a bit better executed, Fed would been 40-30 up and more relaxed and reliefed to serve out the game, instead he was down BP and got tense and borken, cost him the match at that point. It was a really bold move that backfired. But again, slimest margins.


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