Semi-finals Set: Thiem Battles Raonic For Finals Spot Against Federer
Super Saturday at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open will feature the singles semi-final and the doubles final. Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic kick off the action at 11:00 am local time in Indian Wells, as they battle for a spot in the championship match against five-time champion Roger Federer, who advanced when second seed Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament due to severe right knee pain.
FedEx ATP Head2Head: Thiem v Raonic
Seventh seed Thiem and thirteenth seed Raonic kick off the day with their semi-final match. Raonic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0 and hasn’t dropped a set against the Austrian, but they haven’t faced each other since the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals.
“With Dominic, you can't give him too much time,” said Raonic. “He can do a lot of good things, get ahead in the point, and start to run you around a lot if he has time to get into a point and work it. It’s going to be important that I'm very strict with myself and on top of it from the first shot.”
Raonic began working with Fabrice Santoro two weeks ago and the changes are already evident. The Canadian is playing with more variety from the baseline and showing an even greater willingness to attack the net.
But Thiem is markedly more confident on hard courts than when he last played Raonic. He arrived in Indian Wells with a 3-4 record this season, but the slow hard courts at this event suit his game perfectly and he’s yet to drop a set this fortnight. Thiem is optimistic he can turn the tide against Raonic, but won’t be taking the task lightly.
"He's very difficult to play because he's also good from the baseline and moves well. There are going to be many games where I will have zero chance on his serve, but maybe once a set or once a match, [there will be] a chance and then I’ll try to be focused,” said Thiem. “It’s going to be very difficult because he's playing very well again and his serve is always one of the best.”
In Saturday's doubles final, Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos take on Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. Kubot/Melo reached the doubles final here in 2017 (l. to Klaasen/Ram). Kubot seeks his fifth Masters 1000 doubles title and Melo his 10th. Mektic aims for his second Masters 1000 doubles title and Zeballos is playing in his first final at this level.
ORDER OF PLAY - SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2019
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs  Milos Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA Doubles Final
Not Before 5:00 pm
DOUBLES FINAL - Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs  Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA)