King Carlos Defends his Throne as Alcaraz Wins Indian Wells

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev 7-6(5) 6-1 in the final on Sunday, rallying from a slow start to finish well and successfully defend his Indian Wells title.

With the victory, the world number two breaks his title drought, which dates back to Wimbledon in the summer of last year. He also becomes the first person to successfully defend a title in the California desert since Novak Djokovic did so three times in a row from 2014 to 2016.

Despite not showing any symptoms of the ankle issue that led him to withdraw from the Rio Open last month, Alcaraz admitted that the injury was on his mind before the competition.

“Winning this tournament means a lot to me because the week before it began I had a lot of doubts about my ankle,” Alcaraz said.

“But once I stepped on the court for the first round it started to feel better and as I said after every match, I was feeling better and better. Really, really happy to be able to win this tournament again.”

In a rematch of last year’s final, Alcaraz started slow, spraying errors around the court to fall 3-0 down but raised his level to get back on serve and eventually force a tiebreak.

In the closely fought breaker, Alcaraz pounded a forehand that his Russian opponent could not redirect safely in bounds to hand Alcaraz the first set.

The Spaniard romped through the second set, raising his arms in the air and letting out a roar when Medvedev missed another forehand wide on match point.

Second seed Alcaraz smacked 25 winners to Medvedev’s 11 and was especially effective against his opponent’s second serves.

“I enjoy playing these kind of matches with you,” Alcaraz told Medvedev during the trophy ceremony. “Hopefully more finals ahead.”

Medvedev, who briefly lost his temper with some fans in the Alcaraz-friendly crowd in the second set, was gracious in defeat.

“I’d like to congratulate Carlos,” Medvedev said during the trophy ceremony.

“It’s definitely your court, you like it here. Congrats to you and your team. You are doing a great job so continue this way and hopefully one day you can let me play a little bit better here,” he said.

“Amazing job today and amazing job throughout the two weeks.”

It was an eventful stay in the California desert for the 20-year-old Alcaraz.

The two-time major champion was stung on the forehead when a swarm of bees invaded the court on Thursday, kept his number two ranking by ending Jannik Sinner’s 19-match winning streak in the semis and slayed the big-serving fourth seed Medvedev in the final.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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