Reigning Indian Wells champion, Dominic Thiem, has described Roger Federer as a true legend that he was opportune to play against him.
Thiem produced a special performance to claim the biggest title of his career on Sunday, surviving Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open final.
The Austrian secured his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy in his third final appearance to deny Federer a record sixth BNP Paribas Open Crown, battling back from a set down to win, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in just over two hours at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in awe.
Speaking in an interview, Thiem said, “He’s such a legend. For all of us younger players, it’s a privilege to still be able to compete with him and play against him in the finals of big tournaments like this one.
“Against Roger, Rafa, Novak, and some other guys, you have to beat not only the player but also the great aura they have and all these titles they have won. You have to play doubly good to beat them.”
On how he felt to win his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy, he responded;
“Of course, the title is amazing [and] it will stay there forever,” said Thiem. “But it would be nice if I could hold this shape and all of these positive emotions in the next tournament and every tournament I play.”
Thiem’s victory at Indian Wells moves him up to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, matching his career-best standing.