Roger Federer's awkward moment with opponent before Indian Wells final

Before they did battle in the final at Indian Wells, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem had to endure a hilariously weird moment.

As is customary at the BNP Paribus Open in the California desert, players are driven to centre court from the locker room by golf cart.

Federer and Thiem endured the awkward moment of having to sit back-to-back in the cart as they made the journey.

Thiem and Federer sat back-to-back. Image: Tennis TV

The combatants didn’t appear to lock eyes or speak to each other, primely focused on the task at hand.

Tennis fans and pundits saw the funny side of the awkward encounter.

Thiem upstages Federer

Thiem overpowered Federer to claim the biggest title of his career and deny the Swiss ace a record sixth ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells.

Austrian seventh seed Thiem dropped the first set but found his rhythm as the match progressed to secure a 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory – his first over Federer on a hardcourt.

Federer raced into a 4-1 lead and despite being broken back the 37-year-old sealed a second break to secure the first set after a successful service game.

Dominic Thiem celebrates. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old Thiem reversed the 4-1 scoreline in the second set before he evened up the match to force the deciding set.

In his third Masters 1000 final, Thiem’s confidence increased and he raised his level to outplay Federer when it mattered most to win his 12th ATP crown.

He denied the 20-time grand slam champion on nine of 11 break-point chances and a forehand winner gave Thiem the opportunity to serve for the title at 6-5 in the final set.

with AAP