ATP Indian Wells: Carlos Alcaraz sets his eyes on Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets in Indian Wells

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Indian Wells: Carlos Alcaraz sets his eyes on Novak Djokovic

A year after reaching the Indian Wells semi-final, world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz is off to a winning start in the desert. Carlos took down Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 16 minutes on Stadium 1 for a place in the third round.

Alcaraz has an extra motive to chase the title at the season's first Masters 1000 title, hoping to clinch 1000 ATP points and take the ATP throne from Novak Djokovic. Carlos lost seven points behind the initial shot against Thanasi, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on the other side.

The Aussie failed to follow that pace, offering his rival nine break points and experiencing three breaks of serve to end his run in the second round. The Spaniard hit 21 winners and 14 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and ousting the rival in the shortest and more advanced exchanges.

Carlos produced brutal numbers behind the initial shot in the opening set, losing one point in his games and waiting for return chances.

Carlos Alcaraz made a winning start in Indian Wells.

Alcaraz held at love in the encounter's first game and seized the third break point in the next one after Kokkinakis' wild forehand.

The Spaniard produced another hold at love in game three and fired a forehand crosscourt winner at 3-1 to extend his perfect run behind the initial shot. Thanasi fired a service winner in game six to reduce the deficit before Carlos increased the gap with a forehand winner in game seven.

Kokkinakis served to stay in the set in game eight and closed it with a service winner to extend the battle. However, Alcaraz produced his fourth hold at love at 5-3 to wrap up the opener in 33 minutes after a service winner.

The Spaniard wasted a break chance at the start of the second set following a loose drop shot. The Aussie saved the second with a mighty forehand and landed an ace for a vital hold. Carlos pushed strong on the return in the third game and earned a break point with a perfect drop shot winner.

Thanasi netted a forehand to experience a break and push the opponent a set and a break in front. Alcaraz held after deuce in game four to open a 3-1 gap and fired a booming serve at 3-2 to remain in front. The Spaniard delivered a hold at love in game eight for 5-3, forcing the Aussie to serve to stay in the match.

Kokkinakis could not find free points from his initial shot and experienced three match points. He saved the opening two before Carlos landed a volley winner at the net on the third to seal the deal and emerge at the top.

Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic Thanasi Kokkinakis