Alcaraz rolls to Indian Wells win, reclaims No. 1

Tennis

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Carlos Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open title and regain the world’s No. 1 ranking.

The 19-year-old Spaniard will move from second to first in the ATP Tour rankings on Monday, displacing Novak Djokovic. The Serb withdrew from Indian Wells before the tournament began when he couldn’t gain entry to the U.S. because he’s unvaccinated for COVID-19.

Last year, Alcaraz became the youngest man to reach No. 1 in ATP history after his title at the US Open.

He achieved another mark in the third round at Indian Wells. That’s when Alcaraz notched his 100th career match victory, the second-quickest player behind John McEnroe to do so.

Alcaraz enjoyed a dream start to the matchup of first-time Indian Wells finalists as he got an early break for a 2-0 lead and dropped just six points on serve as he raced through the opening set in 36 minutes.

Medvedev, who was looking to add another title to the ones he collected in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai over the past month, was unable to stop the bleeding and had no answer for the Spaniard’s brilliance the rest of the way.

Alcaraz broke to love in the first game of the second set and held at love for a 2-0 advantage as a resigned Medvedev dropped 10 consecutive points dating back to the first set.

The hard-hitting Alcaraz kept dragging Medvedev from corner to corner and consolidated another break for a commanding 4-0 lead while barely breaking a sweat as he closed out a seemingly stress-free victory in 70 minutes without facing a break point.

“Daniil, you are an amazing player and are working really hard. You push me to improve myself on and off the court,” Alcaraz told his opponent during the trophy ceremony.

It was only Medvedev’s third loss of the season, snapping a 19-match win streak.

“I tried. I tried. I don’t like to lose, but today that was unfortunately pretty easy,” Medvedev said to laughs from the crowd. “Congratulations to you, Carlos. You are the most respected player. I think you say hi to 300 people a day.

“It was a surprising week in many aspects. I have a love-hate relationship with the courts here, but I would like to thank this court. I was giving a hard time to it this week, so it gave me a hard time, too. But it gave me the chance to finish the tournament and I will definitely be back.”

Alcaraz, who didn’t drop a set at Indian Wells, is now 14-1 in 2023 after missing the early part of the season with injuries. His only loss was to British player Cameron Norrie in the final of the Rio Open in February.

Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk was included in this report.

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