Alcaraz back as world No 1 with Indian Wells win

Carlos Alcaraz breezed past Daniil Medvedev to win the Indian Wells title and return to world number one.
Spaniard Alcaraz, 19, needed only one hour 11 minutes to seal a 6-3 6-2 win that took him above Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings.


It is the US Open champion’s third career Masters 1,000 title.


“It feels amazing to lift the trophy here, to recover the number one. I would say this has been the perfect tournament,” Alcaraz said.


Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the tournament in California because he was unable to enter the United States because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.


He will also miss this week’s Miami Open, where Alcaraz is defending champion.
Alcaraz broke Russian Medvedev early in the opening set to open up a 3-0 lead and never looked like relinquishing his grip on the match.


He won the first 10 points of the second set to move into a 4-0 lead, before sealing victory without facing a break point.
“Daniil obviously didn’t play at his best level, but I’m very happy for my performance and how I played this tournament,” said Alcaraz.


“I expected a tougher match. Against him is always a tactic match, and I did perfect today. That’s why it looks easy – but it wasn’t.”


Alcaraz is only the second player after compatriot Rafael Nadal to win at least three Masters 1,000 titles as a teenager.
He lost the world number one spot in January after Djokovic’s triumph at the Australian Open, which Alcaraz missed because of injury.


He returned to action in February, winning the Argentina Open and reaching the final of the Rio Open.


Alcaraz must successfully defend his Miami Open title in order to stay at the top of the rankings.


Defeat was Medvedev’s first in 19 matches, having come into the tournament on the back of successive wins in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.


He struggled to cope with the windy conditions against Alcaraz and also appeared hampered by an ankle injury suffered in his fourth-round win over Alexander Zverev as well as a split thumb sustained in the quarter-finals against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.


“Why didn’t I play my best? I don’t know,” said Medvedev.
“Maybe it was his ball. Maybe it was the wind. The ankle, the thumb, the tennis, wind, whatever. But we almost made it. I will try to be better next time.”


Nadal has dropped out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since April 2005 – a run of 912 consecutive weeks.


The 36-year-old, who has slipped to 13th, has not played since injuring his left leg at the Australian Open, but is hoping to return on the clay of Monte Carlo next month.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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