There were two new champions of the BNP Paribas Open crowned in the desert of Indian Wells, Calif. on Sunday, as Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and Dominic Thiem captured the respective men’s and women’s singles titles.
Up first was Andreescu, the teenager from Mississauga, Canada, who defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in a thrilling final between an up-and-coming talent and a three-time Grand Slam champion and veteran of the tour.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” said Andreescu. “Truly a Cinderella story. Naomi [Osaka] did this last year. And now to be able to have my name in front of so many amazing champions—it means the world to me.”
It is the first career title for Andreescu and the culmination of a fantastic fortnight out in California. On Sunday, she faced a 2-3 deficit in the deciding third set but won four of the final five games against Kerber to complete her dominant run.
“I have been in the zone, I think, every match,” said Andreescu. “There were some ups and downs in some matches, obviously. Tennis isn’t a perfect sport. So I’m just—this means everything to me.”
Following Andreescu’s triumph, the 25-year-old Thiem took on Roger Federer for the men’s title, following up the exciting women’s final with a great match of their own. Thiem came back to beat the five-time Indian Wells champion 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to score the biggest win of his career.
“It’s unreal,” said Thiem. “It’s a pleasure to compete against Roger in this great final. I lost my last two Masters 1000 finals, but I won this one and it feels as nice as a Grand Slam. It was a great week and I think also a very good final today. Just amazing that I got here, my first really big title. I came in from a really bad form in all categories and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells. It feels not real at all.”
Thiem climbs to the fourth spot in the ATP World Tour Rankings, and is now 3-2 all-time against Federer.
“I was in the zone the whole match,” said Thiem. “I had to get used to Roger’s game. In the first set he was playing amazing. It was completely different from my opponents before him. I was struggling to work my way into the match. I had to fight to save those break points early in the second set. It was a very good match until the end and I had to fight to serve it out.”