Dominic Thiem said Roger Federer «was playing me» early in the 2019 Indian Wells Masters final. In 2019, Thiem impressively rallied from a set down to beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the Indian Wells final. Thiem, now 29, captured his first Masters title by beating Federer.
On his return to Indian Wells, Thiem recalled the experience of facing the great Federer in a Masters final. “The first set was exactly why Roger is so popular and why people love watching Roger so much. He was playing with me.
He was playing at his best level. He was doing what he wanted and when he’s at this level, he’s impossible to play with. He just expected him to have some weak game in the second set and he had it and I broke and then the match was kind of an opening.
I am also happy to have witnessed this first set, it was an incredible experience to play against someone who plays such good tennis,» Thiem told ATP website.
Thiem: I entered Federer’s match relaxed
In 2017, Thiem was beaten by Rafael Nadal in his first Masters final in Madrid.
The following year, Thiem reached the final in Madrid again, but this time he lost to Alexander Zverev. Coming into the Indian Wells final against Federer, Thiem didn’t want to put any pressure on himself. Thiem came into the match relaxed and it paid off as he was able to beat Federer for his first Masters title.
“For me it was an incredible week and I was going into the final relaxed against Roger, who was the favorite and was playing well at the time. I wasn’t putting any pressure [on me] because before when I played the first final in Madrid, I was pressured because I wanted to win this first [ATP Masters] 1000,» Thiem explained.