Thiem wins his first Masters 1000 title

Tuesday, Mar 19

Dominic Thiem, who has already brought home 11 winner’s trophies, took the tennis world by surprise and claimed his first Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Despite being ranked World No.8, the Austrian ace had been struggling to capture wins since the start of the season, posting a modest record of three conquests and four losses heading into California.

But the desert air proved beneficial. He racked up solid victories over players including Gilles Simon and Ivo Karlovic and went on to defeat Milos Raonic for the first time in three confrontations to reach the final. Waiting in the wings was Roger Federer.

Clearly nervous as the showdown got underway, Thiem was able to find his game and capitalize on Federer’s errors. Just when the Maestro seemed to be well on his way to his 101st title, his opponent broke his serve and got ahead 6-5, securing the win in three tight sets 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

“He played them [Federer’s dropshots] really well. It’s that simple,” commented Federer after the match. “I thought that the first one hit very well. The second one, if he doesn’t pick it up quick, he’s not going to be there, but he did. So, the second one I should have hit, but I didn’t. So, just these little things, you know, that matter today.”

Thiem was impressive all week, losing his serve only 4 times in 61 games to gain a maiden title in his third appearance in a Masters 1000 final.

“It feels unreal what happened in these ten days during the tournament,” said Thiem. “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.”

The Austrian’s inspired game propelled him four spots in the rankings to World No.4—a career high. Federer falls one to World No.5.

(Feature photo: Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

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