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Alcaraz Powers Past Medvedev For BNP Paribas Open Crown and No. 1 Ranking
3 Min Read · March 19, 2023

The lights in Stadium 1 were on near the conclusion of Sunday’s BNP Paribas Open men’s singles final.

Carlos Alcaraz shut them off and closed the curtains on the Indian Wells fortnight with a brilliant display of big-stage tennis, defeating Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in 70 cool minutes.

On an overcast day, the high-flying Spaniard hit all the high notes as he put forth a versatile, pitch-perfect display to claim his eighth ATP title and ensure a return to the No.1 ranking when the ATP releases new rankings on Monday morning.

It was all Alcaraz, all the time, as the 19-year-old hit 19 winners against 10 unforced errors, and kept Medvedev off balance with a mix of pure power and a steady array of serve-and-volley and drop shots.

With his win, the 19-year-old becomes the youngest men’s singles champion and first teenager to win Indian Wells since Boris Becker in 1987.

Was he nervous?

“I try to show that, but honestly, I was nervous,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. “But this is something that I talk with my team, you know, to show the opponent that I’m relaxed, that I’m enjoying the final.”

Medvedev, meanwhile, wasn’t quite himself.

“Why didn’t I play my best?” he asked. “I don’t know. Maybe it was his ball. Maybe it was the wind, was pretty windy today, and for him it was easier to go through this wind, and that’s normal. That’s what’s easier to do for him.

“So I have no real reasons, and sometimes in tennis you don’t have them. Disappointed with the result, but the week was amazing. Because Indian Wells, to make final, I mean, I’m just super happy and proud.”

Medvedev entered the final carrying a 19-match winning streak, and he was bidding for his fourth ATP title since the streak had begun (and 19th overall). But he was unable to make a dent in Alcaraz’s pulsating game – the top seed never faced a break point and opened up leads of 3-0 in the opening set and 4-0 in the second set.

Still there were magical moments in Sunday’s final, as Alcaraz captured the imagination of the packed Stadium 1 crowd with his raw athleticism and loose, lucid play. Medvedev battled ferociously, as he has done all tournament long, but could not poke holes in Alcaraz’s defense.

“He played well,” Medvedev said. “Good dropshots in good moments, some good winners to break me.”

The Spaniard is the first man to power through the BNP Paribas Open draw without dropping a set since Roger Federer in 2017.

Alcaraz, who improves to 1-1 lifetime against Medvedev, praised the No.5 seed after the match.

“You are an amazing player,” he said. “You are working very hard, I want to congratulate you for the work you have done in the last few months. Winning three titles in a row and reaching the finals here is an amazing achievement.”

It was a difficult loss for Medvedev, who was playing for his first BNP Paribas Open final just like Alcaraz on Sunday, but the man who battled his way through a scary injury ankle injury to reach deeper than he ever had at Indian Wells kept his head high.

“I would like to congratulate Carlos,” Medvedev said on court during the post-match trophy ceremony. “You already have amazing achievements in your career, and I’m sure many more to come. Today’s one more, winning Indian Wells – I also dream of it, so maybe next time.”

For Alcaraz, the only teenager to hold the ATP’s No.1 ranking, the future is indeed bright. He claims his third Masters 1000 title, and becomes the ninth and youngest man to win both legs of the fabled Indian Wells-Miami Sunshine Double.

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