20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer's hopes of clinching his record sixth title at the BNP Paribas Open were dashed after he slumped to defeat against seventh seed Dominic Thiem of Austria in the final of the tournament in California on Monday.
After comfortably winning the opening set, the Swiss tennis star failed to capitalize on the same and went down fighting against Thiem 6-3, 3-6, 5-7 in a thrilling summit showdown of the men's singles event that lasted a little over two hours.
Following the defeat, Federer said that though he is frustrated and disappointed to some extent, he admitted that Thiem was better than him when it really mattered.
“I'm not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was on my racquet,” the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) quoted Federer as saying.
“[I] just came up against somebody who was, on the day, a bit better when it really mattered. That's how it goes. Sure, it's frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent. But look, I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly," he added.
Notably, Federer has fallen short in the final at California desert for the second consecutive year. In 2018, he had missed out on clinching his sixth title at the Indian Wells after going down against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the summit showdown.
The world number four had earlier booked his place in the final of this year's Indian Wells after his great rival Rafael Nadal withdrew shortly before their eagerly-waited semi-final clash due to a knee injury.