Carlos Alcaraz savours ‘crazy’ Indian Wells triumph and return to No 1

Carlos Alcaraz fist pump Credit: Alamy
Carlos Alcaraz fist pump Credit: Alamy

Carlos Alcaraz is back on top of the world after beating Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells Open final to claim his second title of the season.

Alcaraz put in an emphatic display to down Medvedev, who came into the match on a 19-match winning streak.

The Spaniard was thrilled to notch the win at one of his favourite tournaments.

“It means a lot to me. To recover the No. 1 [ranking] is crazy for me,” Alcaraz said.

After wrapping up the win in a rapid one hour, 10 minutes he said: “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. For me, it’s amazing to complete these 10 days like this.”

Alcaraz could still become the first man since Roger Federer to win both events of the Sunshine Double.

He will need to retain his Miami Open title to hold onto top spot in the rankings beyond the fortnight.

If anyone is going to set out to achieve something audacious it is Alcaraz who continues to break new ground.

“Of course winning a tournament, it gives you a lot of confidence [entering Miami],” the Spaniard said, looking ahead to the year’s second ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I’m playing great. Of course today, 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.”

Alcaraz claimed ahead of the final that he would need to be close to perfect to undo Medvedev.

The defensive game of the Russian wouldn’t hold up against the aggressive bustling play of Alcaraz.

“I have to make, let’s say, everything perfect. That’s all I’m gonna think tomorrow,” he said.

Medvedev admitted after the match that he simply couldn’t find his game in windy conditions at Indian Wells.

“Why didn’t I play my best?” Medvedev said after the match.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was his ball. Maybe it was the wind, because it was windy today, and for him it was easier to go through this wind. So I have no real reasons.

“He probably played good.”

Alcaraz insisted that the victory was far from easy.

“I’d said before that against Daniil you have to play your best, and tactic at your best level as well,” Alcaraz said.

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

READ MORE: Why Elena Rybakina’s Indian Wells win could be a breakthrough moment

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