Thiem stuns Federer; wins Indian Wells - Eastern Mirror
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Thiem stuns Federer; wins Indian Wells

By IANS Updated: Mar 18, 2019 10:30 pm
Dominic Thiem, of Austria, celebrates after defeating Roger Federer, of Switzerland, in the men’s final at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Indian Wells, Calif. Thiem won 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. AP/PTI

Indian Wells, March 18 (IANS): Austrian Dominic Thiem won the biggest title of his career by beating Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3 and 7-5 in two hours and three minutes in the final at Indian Wells, the first Masters 1000 of the season.

It is Thiem’s maiden Masters 1000 title, and also his first final in Indian Wells, reports Efe news.

Federer, who congratulated his rival with the best of his smiles and an affectionate gesture, was denied winning his sixth crown on Sunday, which would have been a record, in the Californian desert after his victories in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2017.

The match record between the two players is now 3-2 in favour of Thiem, although Federer had won the two previous times played on hard court. Before this match, Thiem had never beaten the Swiss on a hard surface.

It was a magnificent match, with great runs of play for both and lavish points, although it was the former world number one who began by sweeping ahead 3-0 against a hesitant opponent in the early stages.

Federer took the first set in 36 minutes despite the efforts of the 25-year-old Austrian tennis player, who broke his opponent in the seventh game 4-3 but this was not enough to stop the torrent of play by the veteran star.

It seemed that Federer was headed towards his 101st title with relative ease, but Thiem resurged and claimed a double break to go up to 4-1, playing much looser and uninhibited from the baseline.

The recovery of the Austrian surprised the audience, who encouraged Federer even more spurning him on. However, Thiem raised his level of play by several points and showed huge confidence, along with moments of superior tennis.

The second set in his pocket and the match in draw, both players offered the best version of themselves, with tremendous confidence in their serve.

The draw remained virtually until the last moment when Thiem did not waste his first break point of the set to level at 5-5. That sealed the victory as Thiem maintained his vigour against a tiring Federer, achieving the 6-5 advantage and then did not hesitate for a second with his serve to score the title.

Andreescu beat Kerber to lift Indian Wells title

Young Canadian Bianca Andreescu was proclaimed champion at the Indian Wells Masters, after she overcame the German Angelique Kerber, who was eighth seeded, 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes.

It is the first time ever that a player who received a wildcard entry to the tournament leaves with the title, reports Efe news.

The two were playing each other for the first time on Sunday and Andreescu started well, creating four break chances in the very first game of the match, converting the last one for an early lead. Kerber then had to fight hernerves as well after giving up the first game with a double fault.

Andreescu never faced a break point in the opening set and did everything right to win it 6-4 in 40 minutes. Kerber, the reigning Wimbledon champion, fought back in the second set, more in control and setting the pace, taking advance of some unforced errors of her young opponent.

In the deciding set Kerber started with maintaining her momentum against an increasingly tired and error-prone Andreescu and achieving an 3-2 lead.

But the Canadian teenager, visibly exhausted, pulled through her weakness and started to blast some fiery forehands leaving the German disconcerted.

With 5-3 for Andreescu on the scoreboard, Kerber managed to save three match points and got a break against her rival whose endurance was plummeting, as evidenced by the cramps she suffered.

But the young woman’s desire to win was greater than those annoyances and she launched more forehand winners to claim a fourth match point. She managed to claim the title when Kerber returned a backhand into the net, opening the doors wide open to a bright future for the Canadian.

By IANS Updated: Mar 18, 2019 10:30:04 pm