Carlos Alcaraz sets Indian Wells showdown with Daniil Medvedev
Carlos Alcaraz kept his hopes of regaining the world No 1 ranking this week alive as he blew past Jannik Sinner into a final against Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev had earlier battled beyond the last home hope, Frances Tiafoe to stretch his winning streak out to 19 matches.
The former world no 1 let seven match points slip and was broken twice on his way to straight sets victory.
Medvedev needed a second set tiebreaker to clinch his places in the final 7-5, 7-6(4).
“It was crazy at the end,” said Medvedev.
“I got super tight. I would say that [after] 6-5, 40/0, I think I got tight at deuce when I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s a lot of opportunities missed, this could go not well for me’. So I got really tight, [but] I still managed to continue playing good… The ace [on match point] was a relief, I’m just really happy that I managed not to lose this match.”
Medvedev hasn’t been happy with prevailing conditions at Indian Wells with the court playing exceptionally slow this season.
He was prepared to crack some jokes about it though.
“I’m playing better and better I would say,” said Medvedev, who had admitted struggling with the slower conditions in his early rounds in the California desert. “When I rolled my ankle I started playing better on this court!
“They’re still not my favourite conditions to play, so that’s why also at the end [today] I was struggling probably. On any other court I could do better with the match points, but we never know. But when you’re in the final you cannot complain, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hope I can play my best tennis.”
Alcaraz also needed to tibreaker in the first set of his match against Jannik Sinner to ensure that he still hasn’t dropped a set at the 2023 Indian Wells Open.
“I’m really happy with the performance today,” said Alcaraz.
“I’m really happy to get through this great match. Jannik obviously is a really great player with great shots.
“I would say we’re going to have a great rivalry over the years. We are playing in the best tournaments in the world. It’s not over here. We are going to play a lot of great matches. All I can say is I’m really happy with my first final here in Indian Wells.”
Sinner has held the wood over Alcaraz in recent meetings and the Spaniard was delighted to progress.
“Playing against Jannik is never easy. I had to overcome a little bit of problems. I had set point down,” Alcarazalso said.
“I knew that I had to increase my level to [beat] Jannik. It was a really close first set. In the second set I put out all the nerves and played more relaxed. I think it was the key of everything.”
Alcaraz is relishing his opportunity to test himself against Medvedev who is the form player on the ATP Tour right now.
“I really want to play against the best tennis player in the world,” Alcaraz said, looking ahead to the final.
“I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and I would say that Daniil is the best player right now… amazing winning streak.
“For me, it’s going to be a really difficult challenge but I’m really prepared for that. I will summon my best tomorrow in the final.”
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