Medvedev meets his match as Alcaraz returns to No 1 with Indian Wells title

Carlos Alcaraz crushed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) in the Indian Wells final on Sunday. Alcaraz will surpass Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings on Monday.

Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2023 Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2023 | © Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Daniil Medvedev had won 19 matches in a row heading into the BNP Paribas Open final. He didn’t come close to making it 20.

Carlos Alcaraz ended Medvedev’s winning streak — which included back-to-back-to-back titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai — with a dominant 6-3, 6-2 victory at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday. Alcaraz needed only one hour and 10 minutes to secure his first Indian Wells title and return to No 1 in the world.

The 19-year-old’s 1,000-point haul takes him to 7,420 ranking points, 260 clear of Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz seizes early advantage and never lets up

Medvedev never sank his teeth into the match, as Alcaraz broke serve right away for 2-0 on his way to a 3-0 lead. The Russian started to play better at that point and held his next three service games, but he never came close to getting back on serve. Alcaraz eventually closed out the set with ease at 5-3.

The top seed made sure that there would be no letdown in the second. In fact, he reeled off 10 points in a row to begin the set. Alcaraz quickly built a 4-0 advantage and from there it was all over for Medvedev. A first championship point came up at 5-2, 40-30, which Alcaraz missed by sending a forehand well long. On the second opportunity, Medvedev erred on a forehand return and it was all over.

“It’s amazing to complete these 10 days like this,” Alcaraz assured. “To recover the No 1 (ranking) is crazy for me. Especially to lift the trophy here means a lot. I’ve said before, I love this tournament…. I’m playing great. I’m really happy with my performance and looking forward to playing (at) this kind of level in Miami, as well.”

Miami Open next for Alcaraz and Medvedev

Alcaraz has his work cut out for him if he wants to stay at No 1 for more than two weeks. The Spaniard is the defending champion of the upcoming Miami Open, so he must retain the title to stay ahead of Djokovic.

Djokovic missed Indian Wells and also won’t be able to play Miami since he is unvaccinated and unable to enter the United States.

The men’s singles draw in Miami will be revealed on Monday.

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