Carlos Alcaraz's chances at Indian Wells look bright

Carlos Alcaraz looks to kick start his 2024 season with a title defense at Indian Wells, hoping to snap his title draught lasting the last seven months.

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Carlos Alcaraz is looking for his first title of 2024, and he’s back healthy in time to defend his title at Indian Wells from last year. Can the young Spaniard pick up his first tournament title since winning Wimbledon last season? 

Alcaraz’s Indian Wells title defense begins on Friday after receiving a first-round bye. He is the No. 2 seed in the tournament. 

Not winning a tournament since Wimbledon last season has come as a surprise to many in the tennis world. After defeating Novak Djokovic in five sets, the rest of the season looked just as bright as ever for the young Spaniard, and at the time No. 1 player in the world.  Since then, injuries and upsets have proved difficult for Alcaraz to overcome, and he hasn’t been able to win a title. 

Can Carlos Alcaraz get his first title of 2024 at Indian Wells?

So far in 2024, he has only played in three tournaments. His record sits at 6-3 with losses to Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open quarterfinal, Nicolas Jarry in the Buenos Aries semifinal and a retirement in the first round of Rio due to rolling his ankle against Thiago Monteiro. 
Alcaraz did play in an exhibition match versus Rafael Nadal as part of the Netflix Slam which he looked pain-free. 

Last year at Indian Wells, Alcaraz stormed through the competition, not dropping a set en route to his third Masters 1000 title. The conditions seem to suit his play style. With slower-than-usual hardcourts in the desert, it gives Alcaraz time to prepare for every shot and run around some balls to fire a forehand to wherever he likes across the court. 

The draw for Alcaraz would seem favorable up to the semifinals where a potential match-up versus Zeverez would be tough. A potential quarterfinal matchup against Nicolas Jarry or very in-form Alex de Minaur will have his attention. The first ranked opponent he might face could be Felix Auger-Aliasssime.   

This year he comes in as the third favorite to win the tournament behind Djokovic and Yannick Sinner, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. In years past, Alcaraz advanced to the second round (2021), semifinal (2022), and last year becoming champion. 

The next few weeks at Indian Wells and the Miami Open will be tournaments that the 20-year-old has won in the past and he will feel he can win again and put his 2024 season on the right path. The Sunshine Double hoping to bring some sunshine into what has been a gloomy few months for Carlos Alcaraz.

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