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Carlos Alcaraz blows past Daniil Medvedev for Indian Wells title, No. 1 ranking

Mar 19, 2023; Indian Wells, CA, USA;  Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) wipes off his racket during the match as he defeated Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in the men   s final of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain is headed back to the top of world rankings as well after a straight-sets win over fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Sunday in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

The 6-3, 6-2 victory came in 71 minutes in what was just the second meeting between the two. Medvedev won their 2021 matchup at Wimbledon in straight sets.

Alcaraz did not lose a set in his first time in this tournament. He also ended Medvedev’s run of three straight tourney wins and 19 consecutive match wins.

“It means a lot to me,” Alcaraz said. “To recover the No. 1 (ranking) is crazy for me. But especially to lift the trophy here for me means a lot. … I love this tournament. I really enjoy my time here, and of course I felt the love from the people from day one.”

The Spaniard, who at 19 became just the second player to win three Masters 1000 titles before age 20, jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first set, including a service break in the second game. It was the only break of the set.

Things got worse for Medvedev in the second set, when he was broken twice as Alcaraz built a 4-0 lead. Down 5-2, the Russian fought off one match point but not a second one.

“Why didn’t I play my best? I don’t know,” Medvedev said. “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.”

Alcaraz finished with 19 winners to four for Medvedev and converted all three of his break point opportunities. He next will head to the Miami Open, one of five tournaments he won in 2022.

“Of course, winning a tournament, it gives you a lot of confidence (entering Miami),” Alcaraz said. “I’m playing great… The conditions today were pretty tough. Of course, Daniil didn’t play at his best, obviously. All I can say is I’m really happy with my performance, the way that I (was) playing this tournament. I’m looking forward to playing this level in Miami as well.”

Medvedev reached his 19th tour-level final, with all of the appearances at different tournaments. Ranked sixth in the world entering the day, he is poised to crack the top five.

–Field Level Media

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