Austrian seventh seed, Thiem, fought back to beat Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5.
20-time Grand Slam champion, Federer, converted just two of 11 break points and made 32 unforced errors to Thiem’s 25.
Dominic Thiem secured his first title at a Masters 1000 event and will rise to fourth in the world rankings on today.
“It feels just unreal what happened in this 10 days,” Thiem said after winning his first event since September 2018.
“I came from a really bad form in all categories, and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells.”
Roger Federer, who won his 100th ATP title in Dubai in the week before Indian Wells, will move to fifth in the world rankings. Federer, lost last year’s final in Indian Wells to Juan Martin del Potro, made a confident start. Federer created early break opportunities in Dominic Thiem’s first service game and converted his fourth break point of the opening set for a 2-0 lead.
Dominic Thiem, competing in his third Masters 1000 final, forced the error out of Federer’s backhand to get back on serve, but the Swiss kept him under pressure.
A nice backhand return of serve allowed Federer to break for a 5-3 lead, and he closed out the set in 36 minutes.
Federer who looked comfortable and quickly created another two break opportunities in the second set, but the 37-year-old squandered them both.
A poor service game, with Roger Federer rushing his approaches to the net, allowed Dominic Thiem to break and the Austrian held his nerve to force an unlikely third set.
Dominic Thiem saved a break point in a game lasting eight minutes to hold for 4-4 and overcame a nasty fall to break Roger Federer three games later and serve for the title.
Austrian Thiem, who won 70% of first-serve points, wrapped up the win when Roger Federer sent a return into the net.