Carlos Alcaraz conquers Indian Wells again

Victor Carlos Alcaraz Credit: BNP Paribas X

Carlos Alcaraz rounded off an exceptional week at Indian Wells, the prestigious first Masters 1000 event of the year often dubbed the fifth Grand Slam, by clinching victory in the final against Daniil Medvedev, securing the title for the second consecutive year with a score of 7-6, 6-1.

Despite a tentative start, the Murcia native outplayed the Russian, replicating his triumph from the previous year. This victory marked the culmination of a gruelling week filled with challenges, including an encounter with a swarm of bees and a remarkable comeback against Jannik Sinner amidst a rain delay in the semi finals – a match anticipated as a clash between the successors to the ‘big three’ of tennis.

Alcaraz, who had faced premature doubts, showcased once again in California the brilliance that captured hearts in 2023 until his setback following his Wimbledon triumph over Novak Djokovic. Demonstrating resilience, he navigated through every obstacle to reclaim victory in Indian Wells, a revered institution in the tennis world. He rediscovered his magic, astounding spectators with his trademark improbable shots that left Medvedev frustrated, despite the latter’s initial dominance. The match soon turned into a one-sided affair, with Alcaraz displaying an unyielding and sublime performance. This triumph follows a season start marred by early exits in the Australian Open quarterfinals, Buenos Aires semi finals, and a first-round injury withdrawal in Rio de Janeiro.

Carlos Alcaraz faced difficulties settling into the match, showing hesitancy and serving from a distance beyond the baseline, a weakness promptly exploited by Daniil Medvedev who capitalized to break serve in the second game, extending his lead in the third (0-3). The Murcia native urgently needed to elevate his tempo while exercising caution, especially after racking up 13 unforced errors in the initial exchanges. Despite a resurgence in the third game, where he squandered three break opportunities, Alcaraz found himself under mounting pressure as Medvedev grew in confidence. The Russian tactically sought to stall Alcaraz’s anticipated reaction, previously marked by an over-eager pace, clinching three consecutive games to level the contest (3-3).

As the wind swept across the Indian Wells court, a venue where Alcaraz had amassed an impressive twelve consecutive victories, the match evolved into a tactical showdown, a strategic duel between the world’s second and fourth-ranked players, the same contenders from the previous year’s final.

Following Alcaraz’s spirited comeback against Jannik Sinner in the semi finals and Medvedev’s hard-fought victory over Tommy Paul, both players were determined to finish the job. The pivotal first chapter of their encounter, perhaps the most crucial, unfolded in a tiebreaker, where Alcaraz, under the guidance of Ferrero, emerged victorious. He celebrated the decisive point with a roar of liberation, capping off an intense set that lasted an hour and ten minutes.

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Marina Lorente

A Spanish woman who has returned to her motherland after 6 years living in London. She is passionate about nature, animals and yoga.