The Indian Wells Masters 1000 for 2020 has been cancelled due to the corona-virus scare. It means that tennis fans would miss the fun at the first Masters 1000 of the season. The tournament has been historical and exciting in the past many years. The Indian Wells 2019 also was one of the most intensely fought. One could not predict the winner till the last point in the final match.
It was the Austrian star Dominic Thiem who turned out as a deserving champ. He defeated the 5 time champion Roger Federer in a breathtaking final. We recall the tournament journey for Thiem and also look at the victory which catalysed his season 2019. That ultimately helped the Austrian to get to the career best ATP ranking of World Number 3 last week.
Thiem’s Road To Glory
Dominic was seeded 7th in the Indian Wells 2019 tournament. He received a bye in the first round. The Austrian met Jordan Thompson of Australia in the 2nd round match. The contest was tightly fought but Thiem just held the edge in crunch moments. He would then close the match in 2 tightly fought sets. If the 2nd round match was a bit challenging, the next match proved pretty straightforward for Thiem. The 7th seed overpowered Gilles Simon of France in 2 sets with a dominant score-line of 6-3 and 6-1.
In the 4th round of Indian Wells 2019, Thiem met big serving Croatian Ivo Karlović. It was another scintillating performance that saw the Austrian march to the decisive quarter-final stage against Gael Monfils. The Frenchman however pulled out due to injury. This meant Thiem was now in the semis of a hard court Masters event.
Thiem Conquers California
Dominic Thiem was involved into a titanic semi-final match with another big serving Canadian Milos Raonic. The first two sets of the match went to the tie-breaker. The Austrian took the 1st set while the Canadian roared back by winning the 2nd. The match was now evenly placed with both the players looking equally good. In the 3rd set, Thiem raised his game. He broke Raonic and then served himself to the final by winning it 6-4. This was to be Thiem’s 1st hard court Masters 1000 final.
The Austrian superstar would face the 5 time Indian Wells champion and 4th seed Roger Federer in the Indian Wells 2019 tournament decider. The Swiss legend had not lost a single set in the tournament so far. He had also got a walkover in the much anticipated semis match after Rafael Nadal pulled out due to injury. The final was expected to be a gigantic contest from the outset itself.
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Federer pretty much dominated the 1st set taking it 6 games to 3. The 5 time champ was looking to make it 6 in the Californian desert. Thiem however would fight tooth and nail to make his presence felt. He recovered in the 2nd set and took it 6-3. The match was now on level terms and evenly poised.
The third set saw both the players fight even harder to race ahead. Federer looked the better player but Thiem would display great resistance to hold on. The Austrian saved match points and then finally broke the Federer serve at 7-5. He took the game, set, match and the Indian Wells 2019 title. It was the biggest of his young career. The fact that it came on hard courts made the title more special. This was because Thiem is known more for his heroics and powers on the clay courts.
How The Indian Wells 2019 Win Changed Thiem’s Career?
The title at Indian Wells 2019 meant the start of the career best year for Dominic Thiem. He won a series of titles at Barcelona, Austrian Open and Beijing Open in 2019. Thiem also made it to the finals of 2019 Roland Garros and the Nitto ATP season finale in 2019. The Austrian would continue his form in 2020 as he went on to make to the Australian Open final and almost win it.
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All this helped Thiem to surge ahead in the ATP rankings. He has recently overtaken Roger Federer and climbed to Number 3 in the list. The Austrian star now hopes to perform better at his beloved clay. He is without doubt the biggest threat to Rafa Nadal’s hopes of winning the 13th French Open. With renewed confidence and reassuring form Thiem will be the player to watch in Paris. A journey that started at Indian Wells 2019 seems to be getting better and better.