Alcaraz, Medvedev focus on first Indian Wells title chance
Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev will not be distracted by lines, stats, or even the lure of a first world. 1 when they battled for the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday.
Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard who became the youngest ever number one after winning the US Open last year, could replace Novak Djokovic and return to the top by winning his third Masters 1000 title.
Medvedev, meanwhile, is on a 19-match ATP winning streak that has seen him win three titles in three weeks in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.
Now that he’s in the title match at the two-week event, Medvedev is the first player since Andy Murray in 2016 to reach four finals in five weeks.
For both of them, Indian Wells’ first title is the goal that matters to them both.
“I know that if I win tomorrow I will be the number one seed,” Alcaraz said. “I’ll try not to think about it, just think about the things I have to do.
“I have to make everything perfect. That’s all I’ll think about tomorrow.”
Likewise, Medvedev will not focus on any historical aspect of his streak – only on extending it.
“When you do well and then you hear some of these stats, it’s great, but at the same time I know it comes with wins,” he said. “The most important thing is to try to win this tournament and win these matches.”
Medvedev edged past Mutabaqa late in the match with a 7-5 7-6 (7/4) semi-final victory over Frances Tiafoe and needed eight match points to disqualify the 16th-ranked American.
Alcaraz won the tense first set, then qualified 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 over Italian Yannick Sinner.
Both Medvedev and Alcaraz said their only previous meeting – Medvedev’s second-round victory at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships – was no measure for this final.
“He was definitely not the same player he is now,” Medvedev said. “So in a way it will be like the first match between us in terms of how we will play tactically or physically or tennis.
“It will be a lot of fun to play against him.”
Alcaraz added: “If I’m not mistaken, when I played against him he was No. 2 in the world, I was just starting to play on tour.
“Now it’s completely different. I think it will be a completely different game.”