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Alcaraz on No 1 ranking: “I will try not to think about that”

Carlos Alcaraz will regain the No 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic if he wins the Indian Wells final on Sunday. Standing in his way is Daniil Medvedev.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2023 Carlos Alcaraz after he deated Jannik Sinner, Indian Wells 2023 | © Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Carlos Alcaraz will try to win the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in his career on Sunday. But another 1,000-point title isn’t the only thing at stake for him.

If Alcaraz defeats Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final, the 19-year-old will return to No 1 in the world rankings — surpassing Novak Djokovic. If Medvedev triumphs, Alcaraz will remain No 2.

“I know if I win [on Sunday] I’m gonna become the No 1,” Alcaraz said following his semi-final victory over Jannik Sinner. “Well, I will try not to think about that — just to think about the things that I have to do, you know? I would say gonna be a really tactic match against Daniil. (It) is gonna be really tough. I have to make, let’s say, everything perfect. That’s all I’m gonna think (about).

“But, you know, it [would] be great to win tomorrow, of course.”

Alcaraz on Medvedev: “He’s a wall”

It won’t be easy, because he is facing an opponent who also has plenty on the line. Medvedev is bidding to win four consecutive titles — all in the span of five weeks. The 27-year-old previously prevailed in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. He is looking to become the first player on the ATP Tour to win four in a row since Andy Murray in the fall of 2016.

“He’s a wall,” Alcaraz said of Medvedev. “He returns every ball — impossible shots. I talked with my team that the returns are almost in the corner of the court and (he is) still winning the points.

“He’s an amazing runner; he’s an amazing player. I probably (have to) hit my best shots to hit winners against him.”

Medvedev won their only previous match on the Tour, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 at Wimbledon in 2021. Alcaraz was not even in the Top 30 at this stage of his career. In September 2022, he spoiled the Russian his US Open crown and the first place at the ATP rankings.

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