Roger Federer suffered a huge loss in the finals of the Indian Wells tournament. The Swiss legend had to congratulate Dominic Thiem at the end, despite having an advantage after the first set.
After a huge battle in the third set, the young Austrian clinched his first ATP 1000 title, 3-6 6-3 7-5.
For FedEx, this has been a huge blow, and a missed chance to close the gap between him and Jimmy Connors on the all-time title list. The American has 109 trophies in the Open Era, while Federer 100.
After the match, one of the best, if not the best player in tennis history wasn’t so depressed as his fans on the stands of Indian Wells Tennis Garde were.
“I don’t know how to explain, but it’s just not as dramatic,” Federer said. “I feel like I’m actually playing good tennis. Like, in Australia, I wasn’t too down on myself because I feel like my game is there, my body is there.”
And indeed the 37-year old maestro is right there. In 14 matches since the start of the season he only lost twice, and already has one title won in Dubai. And not to forget the Hopman Cup trophy where he became the only player to win the mixed-gender competition three times.
Against Thiem, everything worked well in the first set, when the Swiss showed his entire arsenal of shots, providing a perfect amusement for the fans who had a chance to see several breathtaking moves of the veteran.
In no time he created a 3-0 lead, his opponent managed to threaten by making a break, but Federer instantly responded and won the opening sequence, 6-3
But his age caught up to him in the second set. He had an opportunity to take Thiem’s serve in the third game, but the Austrian saved two break-points, and use one of his own in the next game, thus clinching the set, 6-3.
A huge battle was seen in the third period. Roger had another chance to make a break, with 4-3 for him, which would enable him to serve for the title. But once again he failed to use it. Thiem finally broke his rival in the 11th game and capitalized that in the next one, winning 7-5 and reaching the biggest success of his career.
Roger knows where he missed his chances and is perfectly aware of what decided the match. According to his words, the decisive moment of this event took place in the fifth set, when Thiem made a perfect return.
“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. The return he hits on the line at 5-all [in the third set], that’s the one I needed, and I couldn’t produce that,” Federer said.
If things went another way, the Swiss could have become the only player who won six titles in Indian Wells. This is the second year in a row in which he losses the final game here. To remind you, Juan Martin del Potro defeated Federer in 2018.
On the other hand, Thiem became the first Austrian since 1997 and Thomas Muster who won one Masters tournament. After two lost finals in Madrid, against Nadal in 2017, and Zverev in 2018, at last, he capitalized the quality he possesses.
Both players will turn their attention to Miami and the tournament which starts today. Federer has three titles there, the last one in 2017 when he routinely defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4.
He is confident in himself, and spoke about that during the press conference, saying that he feels eager to play in Florida.
“Really, there is no reason to get down. Plus there is more to look forward to in Miami,” he said and continued. “The body is perfectly fine. “I feel really good, so why shouldn’t I go into the tournament and to the event confident?”
The draw for Miami Open is set for 12:30 PM EST.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.