ATP Indian Wells Final Prediction: Roger Federer vs Dominic Thiem
Head-To-Head: Roger Federer 2-2 Dominic Thiem
Last meeting: 2018 ATP Finals (Federer won 6-2 6-3)
The first Masters 1000 title of 2019 will be up for grabs as both Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem seek significant milestone wins at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. Who will walk away as the champion of the Californian desert?
Roger Federer is looking to break another record this week and register another significant landmark in his illustrious career. The Swiss is seeking a record-breaking 6th title in Indian Wells (currently tied with Djokovic at five titles).
Following his historic 100th career title in Dubai a few weeks ago, he has replicated his brilliant form this fortnight where he achieved notable wins against Stan Wawrinka, Kyle Edmund, and Hubert Hurkacz without losing a service game. That is an incredible stat considering the doubts that were creeping in after his surprise defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Melbourne.
A few had presumed Federer would struggle during the American hard court swing, but in reaching the final (albeit via a walkover following Nadal’s withdrawal due to injury in the semis), he has successfully defended last year’s points in Indian Wells. The 37-year-old will have an opportunity to make amends from last year’s defeat to Juan Martin Del Potro, in which he held two championship points.
Dominic Thiem is seeking his maiden Masters 1000 title. Much-renowned as a superb ball striker on the clay courts, he has redefined his game and is appearing in a final on hard courts at this level for the first time. He previously made the finals in Madrid in 2017 and 2018, where he finished runner-up.
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He produced a fantastic performance to tame Milos Raonic in three sets. The only real surprise in that semifinal was why Thiem did not manage to close out the match in straight sets after committing zero unforced errors in the opening set. He was disciplined overall and protected his serve throughout the match and faced just a solitary break point.
Who will win the 2019 BNP Paribas Open?
Roger Federer at 37 is in the twilight of his glorious career. The fact that he keeps winning and competing at the biggest events speaks volumes not just of his talent but of his ambition and self-drive. There is no doubt that if he maintains this form and plays in many more finals, he will be extremely motivated to catch Jimmy Connors’ record of 109 titles.
Dominic Thiem has merited his place in the final, but he is playing Federer at the wrong time. The Swiss will be buoyed by his success in Dubai after an indifferent start to his title defense in the Australian Open. Thiem may have perfected the game plan on how to beat the big servers (taking out Karlovic and Raonic on the trot), but this is a completely different proposition.
Prediction: Federer in 2
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