Carlos Alcaraz began this year with lingering doubts over his fitness. His right hamstring which was causing him problems at the back end of the Latin American clay swing is now fine and healed. A healthy Alcaraz is one of the few tennis players on tour who you can pencil in as a favourite when Djokovic is not present. Seemingly, the same could be said of Daniil Medvedev- hot off the heels of a 19 match win streak, the longest of his career.
Alcaraz has looked polished, healthy and competitive all tournament, and on the physical side of things, he looks healthy and ready to go. His win today, a 7-6 6-3 defeat of world number 13 Jannik Sinner is a very positive sign of the direction his season is now seemingly taking. Back in his element and in good health, Alcaraz was in great spirits about his performance
“I’m really happy with the way I played,” Alcaraz said. “I’m very happy I’m into my first final at Indian Wells.”
Alcaraz went up a crucial break in set 1- before Sinner stormed to break back and take the first set to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, a run of 3 straight points sealed the deal to end the first set. Alcaraz then followed this up with another decisive break, running away and serving out the match to seal the deal. The top seed at Indian Wells, the final will be a blockbuster- former world number 1 Daniil Medvedev awaits. It will be a first time winner regardless of the result, and both players will be looking to add a different Masters 1000 title to their resume.
In the event that Alcaraz was to win the final on Sunday, incredibly he would regain the number 1 men’s ranking in the world from Novak Djokovic. Consequently, as the defending champion at the next Masters 1000 tournament (Miami), Alcaraz has the unique chance to become just the ninth man in history to win the Sunshine Double. A win against Medvedev would also mean that Alcaraz would finish his teenage years as the only teenager ever to win the US Open, Indian Well and Miami, a feat that not even Rafael Nadal managed to accomplish.
Today’s semi final was just the fourth meeting between the pair. Sinner and Alcaraz famously went head to head in one of the longest matches in US Open history, playing 5 and a quarter hours in a 5 set all time classic. That match finished just shy of 3 am in New York, despite the match starting at approximately half past 9PM . In that match, Sinner stormed to take the 3rd set tiebreak 7-nil, before Alcaraz miraculously saved a match point in the 4th set and rallied for another set to win the match. Alcaraz, despite not playing the Australian Open series, is currently 13-1 to start the season. His opponent Daniil Medvedev is gunning to win his fourth tournament already of 2023
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Alcaraz said. “I’m been wanting to play him again for a while now.”