Having reached his first Masters final in 2017 and his first Grand Slam final in 2018 only to be denied by Nadal, 2019 has now provided the 25-year-old with the biggest title of his career and the next staging post in his career courtesy of a win over perhaps the greatest the game has seen - quite a statement.
Thiem then seized his opportunity in the 11th game to go 6-5 up and served out the first of two championship points to clinch a maiden Indian Wells Open title in two hours and two minutes. The stage was left to Thiem and Raonic and a match dominated by serving.
"I wanted to try my best to be competitive today", Nadal told reporters, including tennis writer Carole Bouchard.
Nerves appeared to get to Andreescu near the end, when Kerber saved three match points behind some stout defence.
"I love to play on hard (courts), but probably my body don't love it that much", Nadal said, according to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times.
"My goal is to play on all the surfaces", he said.
"I feel like it's not my right to congratulate you, you have 88 more titles than me, so I'm just hoping you play more and we can have some other big finals".
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The Austrian won 70% of first-serve points and ensured victory as Federer sent a return into the net.
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.
"There is nothing to look down, things are good for me, I just needed a better shot from time to time".
Federer, who is looking to follow up his 100th title in Dubai last month, had a more comfortable outing in ending the run of young Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-4.
Against Raonic, Thiem earned the only break of the third set in the fifth game. I know it's going to be very tough, but at the same time, I will give everything to hopefully win my first [Masters 1000] title.
There are the four Grand Slam tournaments and then there are the four Premier Mandatory events on the WTA tour - Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing.
It's been an unbelievable 12 days for Andreescu and she could cap it off with a win in the final over 31-year-old Angelique Kerber, the German three-time Grand Slam champion (Australian Open & US Open 2016 and Wimbledon 2018) on Sunday. "Now it starts the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible".