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Can Dominic Thiem do the Sunshine double?

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Roar Guru
20th March, 2019
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The Sunshine double in tennis is someone winning the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami masters in the same year.

Both are ATP Masters 1000 tournaments and held back to back. Winning both is considered a difficult feat.

Still, seven champions have won the sunshine double.

The first to do so was Jim Courier in 1991 when he defeated Guy Forget at Indian Wells and David Wheaton at Miami.

Courier was followed by fellow American Michael Chang who won against Andrei Cheskonov and Alberto Mancini.

Two years later a third American performed the feat as well. It was none other than Pete Sampras who defeated Petr Korda at Indian Wells and Andre Agassi at Miami.

The very next year Sampras retained Indian Wells by defeating Agassi and had a chance to retain the sunshine double when he again met Agassi at Miami. However it was Agassi who prevailed this time.

In 1998, Marcelo Rios became the first non American to win the sunshine double when he defeated Greg Rusedski at Indian wells and Andre Agassi at Miami. The next Sunshine double champion was Andre Agassi himself and his losing opponents were Pete Sampras and Jan Michael Gambill in 2001.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the only two players to have done it more than once. Federer did it thrice in 2005-06 and 2017.

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Roger Federer in action at the US Open

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

In 2005 he defeated Hewitt and Nadal while in 2006 he won against James Blake and Ivan Ljubicic. In 2017 his wins were against Stan Wawrinka and against Nadal.

It is pertinent to mention that 2006 was the last time the Indian Wells tournament was played as a best of five sets and from 2007 onwards it became a bets of three sets tournament.

Novak Djokovic has won the sunshine double in 2011 and then from 2014-2016. In 2011 he won against Rafa Nadal in both tournaments, In 2014 the wins were against Federer and Nadal while in 2015 the wins were against Federer and Murray. In 2016 Novak defeated Raonic and Nishikori.

This year Dominic Thiem has won the Indian Wells Masters by defeating Federer and he has a chance to win the sunshine double. It is not going to be easy. This year has been an unusually competitive year so far and 19 champions have emerged in 19 tournaments so far.

Thiem is seeded third while Federer is seeded fourth. Ahead of him are world number 1 Novak and world no.3 Sascha Zverev who is seeded second since World number 2 Nadal has opted out.

Dominic Thiem Laver Cup.

Dominic Thiem celebrates winning a point (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

If Thiem is to win he has to get the better of Novak in the semi-finals and it will not be easy as Novak has won as many as six titles here and is tied at six – along with Agassi.

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On the other side of the draw is three-time winner Federer while Sascha who is scheduled to meet Federer in the semi-finals is the losing finalist of last year.

In 2018 John Isner had won the tournament and he would be hoping to do well, as would be the rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas. Milos Raonic is another form player who could proceed a long way in the tournament.

I know however what fans would be wanting, a Federer-Novak final. However it is Dominic Thiem who has won Indian Wells and we shall know soon whether he is able to have a grand run at Miami to become only the eighth man to win the Sunshine double.