Federer reaches Indian Wells final after Nadal’s withdrawal

Dominic Thiem

A set down Dominic Thiem was facing a third defeat in a Masters series final, this time at the hands of perhaps the greatest of them all, but the Austrian found a way to fight back and beat Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5 to win the Paribas Open.

After spending two and a half hours on the court, the Canadian faced his first break point with a great forehand victor on Thiem's court, however with the Austrian, Dominic Thiem serving for the match Thiem closed out the match 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4.

However, it is still worth pointing out that despite the duo sharing two victories apiece from their four meetings, Thiem's data is much worse than Federer's, with the Austrian holding serve just 72% of the time against Federer. Nadal didn't drop a set in reaching his fifth Australian Open final, where he lost to Djokovic.

Federer was going for his 101st ATP title on Sunday night in California, while Thiem was gunning for his first Masters 1000 title.

But the 25-year-old Austrian's solid serve held up against Federer as it had throughout the tournament.

Thiem will rise four places to a career-high world No4 on Monday. Wonderful playing at the very end and throughout the week.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu rallied past No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, winning on her fourth match point to reach the biggest final of her young career.

But a three-set victory, in a little over two hours, gave Thiem a 3-2 career lead over the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his first title of 2019.

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The Swiss created two break points in the third game but failed to take advantage, while Thiem made sure not to waste his chance in the following game, putting himself 3-1 up and using the confidence to set up a surprise deciding set.

"For me it's not about only today".

But Thiem was not about to go quietly, saving break points for a 2-1 lead in the second and breaking for a 3-1 lead as the Swiss suddenly couldn't put a first serve in.

"I wanted to try my best to be competitive today", a dejected Nadal said.

"I had to get used to Roger's game".

"It just feels unreal what happened, " Thiem said.

Having been forced to retire midway through a match nine times before, including in last year's US Open, Nadal didn't want to go through the same situation again. "I feel fortunate for all the things I've done in my life and the world of tennis". "I know the anticipation is there from the crowd and also us players". I was struggling to work my way into the match. Of course, this was a dominant win for Federer, although there are rather different circumstances to this encounter.

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