Alcaraz is relaunched in Indian Wells and dispels doubts about his physique

Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2023 –

Only Nadal, who achieved six, had won three Masters 1000 before turning 20 years old. He will need to win the title in Miami to defend the number 1 that he has made his own again.

Alcaraz poses with the champion’s cupJOHN G. MABANGLOEFE

It is not only the what (champion in Indian Wells, third Masters 1000 of his career, at 19 years old) nor the how (with the authority of someone who does not give up a set throughout the tournament. something that only Federer achieved, in 2017, and Nadal, in 2007), but also when (one year after presenting his candidacy in the semifinals of this same competition, pushing Rafael Nadal to the limit, three weeks after injuring himself against Cameron Norrie in the final in Rio de Janeiro and raising doubts about a physically compromised since the last part of last season).

Carlos Alcaraz has answered many questions with the conquest of his eighth title after a winding route, in which he was presented with different challenges. Yes, he had won the ATP250 in Buenos Aires and had appeared in the aforementioned final, but, oh, this new mishap could warn that something was wrong, perhaps the chassis did not work in the same way as the steering and gearbox did. of marches, as tuned as in the season of its explosion. But he himself made it clear, before the start of the first Masters 1000 of the course, that he was one hundred percent, that he was not worried about this apparent fragility.

Events were going to prove him right. Champion and again number 1 in the world, a status that Novak Djokovic had deprived him of with his victory at the Australian Open, where our protagonist was out due to injury. Campen, and in what way, because along the way he left exquisite corpses. Look but. Round of 16. Felix Auger-Aliassime, who had three victories against him in as many previous clashes. This time, he hit a 6-4 double. Rooms. Jannick Sinner, who beat him last year in the round of 16 at Wimbledon and in the final at Umag, who had offered stubborn resistance in the quarterfinals of the US Open, even having a match point. This time, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Daniil Medvedev, who appeared in the final with three consecutive titles (Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai), a total of 19 games without giving upuntil meeting that player with incredible skills, difficult to compare with others, as he said on the eve of the game, before experiencing them in his own flesh: 6-3 and 6-2.

Another illustrious surpassed

Carlitos violates the established order, something he had already done last year, beating Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev in Madrid, leaving no puppet with a head in the US Open. Medvedev, former world number 1, winner of the United States Open in 2021, who easily defeated him in the first round of Wimbledon 2021, when the boy was still a project, he joins those who have felt his scourge.

Medvedev is 27 years old. He is already a middle-aged player in this tennis thing. But Auger-Aliassime is 22. And Sinner, 21. Perhaps it’s too early to consider men like Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev himself written off, but there are others who begin to knock on the door, the one that Alcaraz has already knocked down, they are they with whom I will have to litigate for the future.

No one travels as fast as him, already with a Grand Slam title and three Masters 1000, with two steps for world number 1As ephemeral as this may be, he needs to successfully defend the title won in 2022 in Miami so as not to cede it back to Djokovic on April 3. Nadal, this week off horseback top 10 for the first time in almost 18 years, he won six Masters 1000 before turning 20. It is with tennis players of such competitive height that he begins to build bridges.

In Miami, where he won his first Masters 1000 in 2022, he has the possibility of certifying the ‘Sunshine Double’, something that only seven eight players have achieved. It is about chaining the titles in Indian Wells and in the tournament that begins this week in the same season. The first to achieve this was Jim Courier, in 1991. He was followed by Michael Chang, a year later. Pete Sampras, in 1994, Marcelo Ros, in 1998 and Andre Agassi in 2001. Roger Federer signed him in 2005, 2006 and 2017 and Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Again without Djokovic or Nadal in the draw, Alcaraz could find himself in the quarterfinals with the Danish Holger Rune, another of those who is running for the leading group in the not too distant future, and with Ruud, Rublev, Zverev or Sinner in the semifinals. With Medvedev he would only run into another hypothetical final

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

Know more