Meet the last 5 players who made their Masters 1000 breakthrough at Indian Wells
- Meet the last 5 players who made their breakthrough at the first Masters tournament on the tennis calendar.
The ATP Masters 1000 series consists of 9 tournaments that award 1000 points to the winner. Behind the 4 Grand Slam tournaments (which award 2000 points to the champion) and the season-ending ATP Finals (which awards 1500 points to an undefeated champion), the Masters 1000 tournaments are the most prestigious on tour.
First conceptualized in 1990, when it was called the 'ATP Championship Series', the series has been known by several names over the years - ATP Super 9 from 1996-99, Tennis Masters Series from 2000-03, ATP Masters Series from 2004-08, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 from 2009-18, and ATP Masters 1000 since 2019 onwards.
As of 2019, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Coupe Rogers (Toronto/Montreal), Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris-Bercy, in that order, constitute the series of 9 Masters 1000 tournaments in a season.
A total of 69 different players have won a Masters 1000 title since the series came into being exactly three decades ago. On that note, let us meet the last 5 players who made their Masters 1000 breakthrough at Indian Wells:
#5 Dominic Thiem (2019)
Long regarded as a clay-court specialist in an era of all-court players, Dominic Thiem provided ample demonstration of his hardcourt prowess by beating five-time champion Roger Federer to lift his first Masters 1000 title at 2019 Indian Wells.
Thiem had lost to eventual runner-up Stan Wawrinka in his first Indian Wells quarterfinal in 2017. But in 2019 he faced no such stumbles, beating Milos Raonic in three sets to reach his first final at the tournament.
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Having not dropped the opening set in all four of his completed matches during the week, Thiem fell behind by a set after 36 minutes in the final as Federer moved to within one set of a record 6th Indian Wells title. But the Austrian regrouped to reverse the momentum and force a third, where he produced clutch tennis at 4-5 30-30 before breaking Federer in the next game and then serving it out.
The triumph made Thiem the only Austrian after Thomas Muster to win a title in the tournament category.