INDIAN WELLS: Dominic Thiem denied Roger Federer a record sixth Indian Wells title, beating the Swiss great 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday to claim his first ATP Masters 1000 crown. The 25-year-old Austrian, ranked eighth in the world, had fallen in two prior Masters finals, both in Madrid.
But he rallied for a third career win over Federer in five meetings, his first over the Swiss on hard courts. Thiem earned the crucial break in the 11th game of the final set, connecting on two sharply angled passing winners to give himself a break point which he converted with a stinging forehand winner.
He sealed the match after two hours and two minutes when Federer’s backhand found the net and will now return to a career-high ranking of fourth in the world. It was the second year in a row that Federer was denied in the Indian Wells final.
Federer, fresh off a remarkable 100th career title in Dubai, remains tied with Novak Djokovic for the most Indian Wells victories with five.Federer led 4-1 before Thiem clawed a break back, but Federer responded with another hard-won break for a 5-3 lead and captured the set with a service winner.