Few Thoughts on Indian Wells 2019

Bianca Andreescu – WTA’s Rising Star

Bianca Andreescu, 18-year old Canadian of Romanian origin has all the makings of a future tennis star.  She is ahead of her own ambitious schedule.  Not only did she win Indian Wells, she has also reached two other semi finals this year.

Andreescu like other promising tennis players in Canada such as Denis Shapavalov (19 years old) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (18 year-old who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round) is a child of immigrants with huge ambitions.

She has attributed some of her success to visualization exercises and a daily 15- minute meditation practice.

Dominic Thiem – Realizing His Immense Potential

Thiem didn’t have a great start to the year.  He came to Indian Wells to practice 10 days prior to the tournament and it paid off big time.  He played much better than Federer in the ending stages of the final and deserved to win.

The win at Indian wells set him  up well for the clay court season.  Thiem was always thought of as someone who could challenge Nadal on clay, along with Novak Djokovic.  It looks like 2019 is the year we will see it unfold.

Roger Federer – Very Good but Not Good Enough By His or His Fans’ Standards

After winning his 100th title in Dubai, Federer played really well until he ran into Thiem, who simply did not miss shots when it mattered.  At 37, Federer’s recent accomplishments are amazing but everyone expects Federer to win.  And he hasn’t won a Master’s 1000 title in a while.

Since the beginning of the year, Federer has had trouble winning break points.  Many fans feel that he should have won the final against Thiem.  His questionable decisions towards the end reminded everyone of last year’s final against Juan Martin Del Potro.

Rafael Nadal Needs To Reduce His Hard Court Schedule

Rafa Vs Roger XXXIX did not happen as Rafael Nadal has to withdraw due to a knee injury.  Nadal complained about the toll that the hard surface has taken on his body over the years.  Unexplicably, Nadal played at Acapulco (for $$$, we all presume) when it was not a mandatory tournament.

Just like Federer has done in recent years regarding clay, Nadal needs to restrict his hard court tournaments to protect his body and extend his career.

Naomi Osaka – Not Handling Expectations Well

Naomi Osaka was easily beaten by Belinda Bencic who is on a hot streak.  But still we have to wonder, is the pressure catching up to Naomi?

Bencic – Continuing to Impress

Belinda Bencic was beaten by Angelique Kerber in the semis.  After her win at Dubai, Bencic is having a break out year.

Sascha Zverev and Sloane Stephens – Failing to Live Up To Expectations

The way in which Alexander Zverev and Sloane Stephens went out was disappointing.  Zverev has so much potential but has found it hard to translate it into results when it matters.

The up and down career of Stephens continues. She lost 6-3, 6-0 to Switzerland’s Stefanie Vogele.

Viral Illness

Several players including Sasha Zverev, Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova were affected by the viral illness during around the tournament.  Several ball kids and media members were also affected.  A similar viral outbreak happened in 2012.

Doubles Getting Its Due

The two-week format allows a lot of top singles players to play doubles.  Djokovic, to his credit, stuck around after his singles loss and continued to play doubles.

When Rafael Nadal withdrew from the highly anticipated semi final against Roger Federer, the tournament was able to put together a double match featuring Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic against Tommy Haas and John McEnroe to entertain the crowd.

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Indian Wells: Thiem Bests Federer, Andresscu Surprises Everyone

Dominic Thiem defeated Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.  It was Thiem’s first Masters 1000 title. Last year, Federer lost to Juan Martin Del Potro in the final in a third set tie-break  in 2018.

After splitting the first two sets, Thiem trailed Federer 5-4 in the third set before breaking Federer with a forehand winner to go up 6-5. Thiem then served out the match without much trouble.

Thiem has 2-2 record against Federer and had lost in his previous two ATP Masters 1000 finals. But the 25-year-old Austrian’s solid serve and goundstrokes held up well against Federer as it had throughout the tournament.

“It feels just unreal what happened in this 10 days during the tournament,” Thiem said. “I came from a really bad form in all categories, and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells. It feels not real at all. 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.”

“He stayed cool under pressure there,” Federer said.

18-year old Canadian Bianca Andreescu became the first wildcard and the second youngest winner at Indian Wells with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4  win overAngelique Kerber.  The Andreescu story was one no one saw coming.

Andreescu knocked out four top-20 players during the two-week tournament, including an emphatic quarterfinals, a 6-0, 6-1 rout of two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza.

“The fricking champion of Indian Wells,” Andreescu said. “It’s crazy.”

“Hopefully this moment can be a great inspiration for many young athletes because, like I always say, if you believe in yourself, anything is possible,” Andreescu said in her on-court interview. “And like my mom always told me through the years, if you work hard, you dream big to get big, then you can accomplish so many things.

“That’s what I’ve been doing throughout many years, and now this moment has become a reality, so it’s really, really crazy.”

Andreescu is projected to move to No. 24 in the new WTA rankings.

Andreescu, who had made around $350,000 in her career before Sunday will leave Indian Wells with a $1.35M payday.

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