Carlos Alcaraz passes Novak Djokovic. Rafael Nadal is too far!

Carlos Alcaraz notched his 50th Masters 1000 victory in Indian Wells

by Jovica Ilic
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Carlos Alcaraz passes Novak Djokovic. Rafael Nadal is too far!
© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz debuted at the Masters 1000 series in Miami three years ago. The young Spaniard only required a little time to show his rich potential at premium ATP events, claiming his first titles in 2022 and writing history books.

The 20-year-old is 53-16 at a Masters 1000 level after 21 tournaments, lifting five trophies from six finals and standing as one of the most prominent youngsters at these events since 1990. Carlos' most recent title came on Sunday in Indian Wells, with the Spaniard defending the desert crown following a win over Daniil Medvedev.

Alcaraz achieved a couple of records in Indian Wells, including his 50th Masters 1000 win over Fabian Marozsan in the fourth round.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Thus, Carlos became the second player with 50 Masters 1000 wins before turning 21 after his great compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic stopped on 48 Masters 1000 triumphs before turning 21, and Alcaraz passed a 24-time Major winner, with more opportunities to extend his incredible run in Miami, Monte Carlo and Madrid. However, no one will ever match Nadal's monstrous 82 Masters 1000 wins before the 21st birthday!

Carlos came to Indian Wells with 47 Masters 1000 wins, failing to reach the milestone number in the closing stages of 2023 after early exits in Shanghai and Paris. The Spaniard had struggled to find the proper form in the previous months, and he changed that in Indian Wells, claiming his first ATP title since Wimbledon last year.

Alcaraz kicked off the title defense with a 6-7, 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Matteo Arnaldi. Carlos saved three out of four break points and delivered six breaks from 13 opportunities, breaking the rival's resistance from set number two and rattling off 12 of the final 13 games.

Alcaraz could have sealed the deal in straight sets, earning a break at 3-3 in the opener after a volley winner. However, he lost serve in the next one, bringing his rival back to the positive side of the scoreboard. Carlos played against a set point in the 12th game, denying it with a forehand crosscourt winner and introducing a tie break.

World no. 2 climbed back from 2-5 before facing the second set point after a loose backhand in the 11th point.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz is the second player with 50 Masters 1000 wins at 20 after Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz netted a backhand, losing the breaker 7-5 and falling behind after 65 minutes.

Carlos shifted into a higher gear in the second set, serving well and keeping the pressure on the other side. Alcaraz grabbed breaks in games two and four and landed a service winner at 4-0 to move closer to a bagel. The Spaniard pushed strong on the return in the sixth game, converting the sixth break point and becoming the favorite ahead of the decider.

Carlos grabbed a break in the second game of the final set, rattling off nine games and forging a 3-0 advantage. Alcaraz saved two break points in the fifth game and delivered a break in the next one after a crafty drop shot.

Carlos served for the win at 5-1 and landed a volley winner for match points. The Spaniard seized the first, moving into the third round and celebrating his 48th Masters 1000 win. The 49th came against Felix Auger-Aliassime following a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in an hour and 17 minutes.

Carlos outplayed Felix on serve and return, losing 11 points in his games and defending the only break point to keep the pressure on the other side. Auger-Aliassime could not deal with it, dropping almost half of the points behind the initial shot and getting broken four times.

They made a solid start in their games before Alcaraz took charge, rattling off six games and breaking the rival's resistance. The Canadian sprayed a forehand error in the fifth game of the first set, losing serve at 15 and sending world no.

2 in front.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Felix played a wayward backhand in the seventh game, suffering the second straight break and falling 5-2 behind. Carlos denied a break point in game eight and fired a service winner, taking the opener 6-2.

Struggling to find free points behind the initial shot or impose his strokes, Auger-Aliassime suffered another break at the start of the second set when his backhand landed long. They served well in the next three games, with the Spaniard opening a 3-1 advantage and creating two break points in game five.

Felix denied them and stayed within one break deficit. Alcaraz served well in games six and eight, moving 5-3 up and notching another break in game nine to sail over the top. Carlos achieved his 50th Masters 1000 win following a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Fabian Marozasan in an hour and 15 minutes.

The Spaniard avenged last year's Rome Masters loss, controlling the pace and remaining on the title course. Alcaraz saved both break points and secured three breaks from eight opportunities. The Spaniard had the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced rallies, taming his strokes nicely and preserving energy for more serious rivals.

The Hungarian saved a break point in the first game of the match with a smash winner, avoiding an early setback. Carlos served well in games two and four before locking the result at 3-3 after deuce in game six.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alcaraz shifted into a higher gear on the return in game seven, seizing the third break point and cementing the lead with a hold at 15 a few minutes later.

The young gun delivered another break with a backhand down the line winner, securing the opener 6-3 in 41 minutes. The second set saw five comfortable holds, with Alcaraz leading 3-2 before landing a volley winner in game six for three break chances.

The defending champion landed a forehand winner on the third, moving 4-2 up and closer to the finish line. World no. 2 saved two break points in the seventh game, denying the rival's comeback and firing an ace for 5-2. Carlos served for the win at 5-3 and landed a forehand winner to seal the deal and move into the quarter-final, celebrating his 50th Masters 1000 win at 20!

Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal
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