Federer, Thiem to meet in Indian Wells final

SABC News Roger Federer R - Federer, Thiem to meet in Indian Wells final

Fourth seed, Roger Federer will attempt to become the first tennis player ever to win six Indian Wells titles in California. The Swiss legend will face 7th seed, Dominic Thiem, of Austria in the final on Sunday night.

Federer advanced after 2nd seed, Rafael Nadal of Spain withdrew before their semi-final clash due to a knee injury. Thiem beat Canadian, Milos Raonic in three sets in their semi-final on Saturday.

Much was made about the semi-final clash between Federer and Nadal, but it all came to nothing. A right knee problem suffered during his quarter-final match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov, resulted in Nadal’s withdrawal from the event.

It was just the fifth time in Nadal’s career that he had conceded a walkover and his first to Federer.

Roger Federer, five-time champion, says that he is disappointed that his match with Nadal will not be happening.

“It’s, as we know, how it goes sometimes in tennis and of course I’m also disappointed that my, you know, match with Rafa didn’t happen because we’re both, or I was ready to go, and I told him I hope it’s nothing serious so I hope he’ll be back strong for the clay.”

The crowd was, however, treated to some fine shot-making by Thiem and Raonic. Matters went all the way to the tie-break in the first two sets. Thiem did not make an unforced error in the first set and clinched it after 45 minutes.

However, big-serving Raonic fought back and bagged the second to level matters at one-set a piece. The first service break only occurred in the fifth game of the decider when Thiem finally got the better of the Raonic serve. He continued to play his solid, powerful game to clinch it 6-4 after two and a half hours.

Thiem advanced to his first Indian Wells final, where Federer now awaits.

“Of course, it was not very difficult to get pumped up, it was 11, pretty early but full house, I mean, it’s I think the third biggest stadium in the world, 16,000 so amazing and of course I was pumped and yeah the final gonna be great, just won his 100th title in Dubai so trying everything to play a good match.”

Thiem and Federer will meet for the fifth time in their careers. Their head-to-head score is locked at 2-all.


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