Rafael Nadal congrats Carlos Alcaraz on passing Novak Djokovic and winning IW

Rafael Nadal praised Carlos Alcaraz's Indian Wells effort

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal congrats Carlos Alcaraz on passing Novak Djokovic and winning IW

Rafael Nadal congratulated his young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz on winning the Indian Wells title and becoming world no. 1 again. A 22-time Major champion praised Alcaraz and his achievement, with the youngster taking the ATP throne on the same day the veteran leaves the top-10 for the first time after almost 18 years!

Carlos lost the ATP throne to Novak Djokovic following the Australian Open, skipping the season's first Major due to an injury. The Spaniard is back at the top again following Sunday's Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells. Carlos added 1000 ATP points to his tally (640 clear ATP points as the last year's semi-finalist) and took the ATP throne from Djokovic to continue where he left seven weeks ago.

Carlos stands 260 points clear of Novak and will have to defend the Miami Open title in the next two weeks to stay at the top ahead of the clay swing.

Rafael Nadal congratulated Carlos Alcaraz on his achievements.

In February, Alcaraz recovered and bounced back on clay in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

The youngster claimed one title from two finals and earned a chance to pass the Serb with the Indian Wells title. Alcaraz lost to Nadal in the last year's Indian Wells semi-final and set his eyes on the trophy during this year's campaign.

Carlos conquered the desert in style, winning all six matches in straight sets to add the third Masters 1000 crown to his impressive tally at 19 years. Alcaraz made a convincing start against Thanasi Kokkinakis and earned his 100th ATP victory against Tallon Griekspoor.

Jack Draper retired in the second set in the fourth round, and the Spaniard set the quarter-final clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime. Seeking his first win over the Canadian, Alcaraz prevailed 6-4, 6-4 in two hours to advance into the semi-final and arrange another thrilling meeting with Jannik Sinner.

Carlos scored a 7-6, 6-3 win for a place in the final, saving a set point on serve in the opener's 12th game and controlling the scoreboard after that to move through. An in-form Daniil Medvedev stood between Alcaraz and the ATP throne, with the Russian seeking his 20th consecutive win and the fourth title in five weeks!

Carlos ended the rival's streak in dominant style, delivering a 6-3, 6-2 victory in 70 minutes to lift the trophy and earn enough points to pass Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz started his 21st week as world no. 1, leaving Mats Wilander on 20 and targeting Ilie Nastase's 40.

Carlos and Rafa should compete together in Monte Carlo, with the veteran giving his best to overcome an injury and compete again in April.

Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz Novak Djokovic