The first ATP Masters 1000 of 2019 has been witnessed quite a few see-saw battles in both men's and women's singles.
The tournament started with the defending champion Juan Martin del Potro pulling out because of a knee injury. Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first seeded player to crash out, losing to the young Canadian Felix-Auger Aliassime. He was soon followed by the World Number 1 Novak Djokovic and World Number 3 Alexander Zverev.
Nick Kyrgios, who displayed the form of his life in Acapulco, lost his first-round match to Philipp Kohlschreiber and the Croatian Marin Cilic lost to another Canadian, Denis Shapovalov.
Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played some of their best tennis in the early rounds and Monfils too displayed some great form before retiring in his quarterfinal match against Dominic Thiem with a left Achilles injury.
Nadal was tested physically in his quarterfinal match against Karen Khachanov and he was forced to retire from his semi-final match against his biggest rival, Roger Federer.
Federer, as a result, is now all set to play Dominic Thiem, who defeated Milos Raonic in a tight match that lasted around 2 and a half hours.
Previewing the final: Federer vs Thiem
Both Federer and Thiem possess single-handed backhands that are artistic and dangerous which they will want to put to good use in the final.
If Thiem's backhand holds up as well as it did in his semi-final match against Raonic, it could well cause problems to Federer.
Moreover, the Swiss' first serve in the last two matches has been far from exceptional and if Thiem can capitalize on that, he has a shot at winning the biggest title of his career.
On the other hand, Federer would not want to lose the momentum he gained by winning Dubai last week and would quickly want to complete the match and take home title no.101.
If Thiem is successful in extending the length of the match by playing more baseline rallies and tiring Federer out, anything can happen. However, the Swiss remains the favourite in this tie.
Final Result: Federer in three sets.Published 17 Mar 2019, 20:38 IST