Indian Wells Masters 2024: Alcaraz submits Medvedev and takes over California | Tennis | Sports

There goes the magnificent Carlitos, once again trophy in hand and smiling, teeth and more teeth when he happily opens the mailbox and celebrates with rage because the prize had been resisted for eight months: California is at his feet, his name shining again in the history of Indian Wells, witness to a historic double that only seven tennis players previously signed. The last one, a certain Novak Djokovic. Yes, there are already two summits that the Murcian has made in the Coachella Valley, where it seems no time has passed because the closing is the same as a year ago: a tennis player ends up dazed. In front, Daniil Medvedev, insurgent at the beginning and once again down: 7-6(5) and 6-1, after 1h 42m. The Spaniard, who had not uncorked the champagne since last year’s hit at Wimbledon, summer and July then, is celebrating in style because recent times have not been entirely easy and the reward was elusive. Voices out there, doubts and also criticism. It was a mere matter of time.

Alcaraz demanded patience, explaining that the line was the good one and that sooner or later he would reap the fruit. Have faith, he asked. Don’t lose confidence. And in the background, noise, the happy social networks that, he says, do not make it easy for him because after all he is 20 years old. He could not succeed in Australia or in Buenos Aires, and then came the misfortune of Rio, not so long ago. There he damaged his right ankle, but he has recovered it at the same speed with which he covers the entire court, centimeter by centimeter, legs and more legs. Lord portent. Make way, make way! A cheetah circulates this Sunday through the Californian desert. And there is little or nothing that Medvedev can do, since last year his resolution was shaken and this time he resists as long as it takes for the Spaniard to shake off those nerves with which he has jumped onto the court and find the necessary tone. That is, just three games. No trench warfare; He fell into the trap in New York, so he recovers the formula of gaining meters and biting. It culminates in the form of a monologue.

In this outcome, the Californian stands witness a duel split absolutely in two: that first strange section, in which the Russian acquires an income that ends up being fictitious, because it is the concession (3-0) that the champion makes until he lands in the final, and the subsequent recital. There is no color. Thus, playing in such an energetic, enjoyable and hierarchical way, stopping Alcaraz is nothing short of a feat. Medvedev knows this, and he reluctantly accepts and ends up getting angry with the public, the result of impotence. The one in Moscow is dismantled. Without a serve, his options disappear.

“I hope one day you let me win here…” he jokes, because behind that face that gives off very bad temper there is a commendable competitor. “I know how I have to play,” the Murcian warned the day before. And he executes it perfectly. 23 winners — 12 more than his opponent — and his excellent performance lead him to his fifth Masters 1000 title, one more than his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero; It is also the figure that only he and Rafael Nadal have reached before turning 21. He was looking forward to Alcaraz, upset because from the outside it is demanded that exceptionalism become the norm, and he remembered these days of difficulty.

“They have been difficult months for me. My confidence went down a little. Sometimes it’s hard for me to be myself. I am a guy who watches the phone a lot (networks) and it is difficult to deal with some comments,” he admitted after beating Fabian Marozsan. “They have been quite intense weeks. I had a lot of doubts at the beginning of the tournament, because I had to recover my ankle and we had to work a lot. “We didn’t know if we were going to be able to play, even at an optimal level,” he conveys in his coronation speech, with 13 awards already in the elite – the same as Nicolás Almagro, one below Alberto Berasategui and Sergi Bruguera – and already converted in one of the distinguished ones in Indian Wells. From the nineties onwards, only Pete Sampras (1994-95), Michael Chang (1996-97), Lleyton Hewitt (2002-03), Roger Federer (2004-06) and Djokovic (2014-16) managed to defend the fortress. Now he too, open wings again. Heading now to Miami.



Iga Swiatek also found no resistance in the final, resolved in just 68 minutes 6-4 and 6-0 against the Greek Maria Sakkari. A result very similar to the one recorded two years ago between the two and that, in parallel, reinforces the hegemony of the number one. She was also champion in Doha, a month ago, she continues to set the pace and leads the wins section (20) this year.

With their second trophy in the Californian desert, the Warsaw team has a total of 19. They have only lost four finals. This is her eighth WTA 1000 – the second most important category after the Grand Slams – and it comes after another ride, without discussion. Only Caroline Wozniacki, who had to come back from 4-1 down, managed to tickle her.

Swiatek achieves success again without giving up a single set and having given up 21 games, in a track surpassed only by Monica Seles – 12 in the 1992 edition – and Steffi Graf – 16 in 1994 -. Precisely, this latest victory gives her a winning average in Indian Wells of 90%, slightly higher than the record held until now by the German (89.5%).

Despite not having been able to conquer Australia, the Pole continues to rule the circuit without cracks. In fact, since the departure of Serena Williams there has not been a player so dominant. She is strong with the strong — she has accumulated 10 consecutive victories against rivals in the top-10 —, she is more than 2,500 points ahead of her pursuer, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

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