INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Roger Federer came out playing like his legendary self. Dominic Thiem needed a set to adjust to what he was seeing across the net.
Thiem went on to beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, denying Federer a record sixth title in the desert.
“It just feels unreal what happened,” Thiem said. “He’s such a legend.”
Thiem trailed 4-3 and 5-4 in the third set before breaking Federer with a forehand winner to go up 6-5. Thiem served out the two-hour match that ended with yet another error from Federer, a forehand dumped into the net.
Federer was in the final for the third straight year and lost for the second year in a row. He was beaten in a third-set tiebreaker by Juan Martin del Potro last year. Federer won his 100th career title in Dubai recently.
Thiem had lost in his previous two ATP Masters 1000 finals. But the 25-year-old Austrian’s solid serve held up against Federer as it had throughout the tournament.
Thiem was broken just four times out of 61 service games in the tournament. He didn’t lose serve during his semifinal win over Milos Raonic, facing only one break point in that match.
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