Rafael Nadal Applauds Carlos Alcaraz for Indian Wells Conquest

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final

by Jovica Ilic
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Rafael Nadal Applauds Carlos Alcaraz for Indian Wells Conquest
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal congratulated Carlos Alcaraz on his second Indian Wells title on Sunday, praising his compatriot's effort. Nadal withdrew ahead of Indian Wells, not feeling ready to compete at 100% and turning his focus to clay.

Still, he was happy to see Alcaraz lifting the trophy, keeping the Spanish flag high in the desert. Carlos became back-to-back Indian Wells champion, defeating six rivals and claiming his fifth Masters 1000 crown at 20! The young Spaniard hurt his ankle in Rio against Thiago Monteiro, retiring and hoping to recover by Indian Wells.

World no. 2 made slow progress in the desert, spending only half an hour on the court during his first practice session and hitting without moving.

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

However, Carlos felt better when the event started, losing the opening set against Matteo Arnaldi before raising his level and marching toward the title.

Alcaraz earned three top-10 triumphs en route to his 13th ATP title, ending Jannik Sinner's perfect start to the season and beating Daniil Medvedev in the repeat of last year's final. Carlos ousted Daniil 7-6, 6-1 in an hour and 42 minutes, becoming the first defending champion in Indian Wells since Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz produced more efficient numbers behind the first and second serve, getting broken in the early stages and keeping the pressure on the other side for the rest of the clash. Medvedev played against ten break points, losing serve three times and settling for the runner-up spot for the second straight year in the desert.

The Russian stepped in on the return, standing much closer to the baseline than a year ago. It kept him in contention in the opener, standing two points away from taking the set two times. However, Alcaraz found the proper patterns and controlled the pace in the second set en route to the title defense.

The Spaniard earned the victory in the shortest range up to four strokes, hitting more service winners than his rival and attacking first. Daniil kicked off the match with two winners, hitting only nine more by the end of the duel and adding 23 unforced errors.

Carlos tamed his strokes nicely and landed 24 winners and 26 mistakes.

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

Rafael Nadal congratulated Carlos Alcaraz on his Indian Wells title.

The Spaniard lost serve once in the opener, overcoming the deficit and keeping the pressure on the other side after creating five break points. Daniil defended four and remained competitive, falling in the tie break after 69 minutes and losing ground.

Medvedev made a great start, kicking off the action with two groundstroke winners and closing the opening game with an ace for a hold at love. The Russian created two break chances in the second game and seized the second after the Spaniard's backhand error for an early advantage.

Daniil sprayed a forehand error in the third game and faced two break points, denying them with service winners and reaching deuce.

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

World no.

4 squandered two game points before facing the third break point, erasing it with another powerful serve and holding for 3-0 after 17 minutes. Carlos reduced the deficit with a service winner in game four and prolonged the next one after Daniil's double fault.

Medvedev netted a routine forehand and faced a break point, losing serve after Alcaraz's forehand crosscourt winner following a well-constructed attack. The Spaniard reduced the deficit and held in game six to lock the result at 3-3.

Daniil closed the seventh game at 30, and Carlos responded with a hold at 15 in the next one after the rival's loose backhand. The Russian netted a routine backhand in the ninth game and offered the Spaniard a break chance.

Alcaraz missed a return, squandering an opportunity to move in front but reaching another deuce following a thrilling point and a forehand down the line winner. Daniil finally held after the third deuce, firing an ace and moving 5-4 in front.

Carlos grabbed the tenth game with a service winner, prolonging the battle. Medvedev clinched the 11th game after deuce before Alcaraz introduced a tie break with a hold at love. The Spaniard earned an early mini-break and landed two winners on his serve for 3-0.

World no. 2 forged a 5-2 advantage before his rival climbed back to 5-5 with a forehand crosscourt winner in the tenth point.

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

Carlos moved 6-5 up with a service winner on the second serve and closed the opener after Daniil's forehand mistake, earning a massive boost ahead of the second set.

Alcaraz had the upper hand in the second set, dominating the more advanced exchanges and dropping five points in his games. Medvedev failed to follow that pace, losing ground and finishing on the losing side after getting broken two times.

Carlos climbed back from 0-30 in the first game of the second set and held with a service winner. Daniil netted a forehand in the second game and faced two break points. Alcaraz netted a volley on the second before creating the third chance, seizing it with a forehand down the line return winner and moving in front.

Carlos cemented the lead with a smash winner in the third game and fired a service winner at 3-1 for a hold at love. The Spaniard pushed strong on the return in the sixth game, creating three break chances with a deep return and converting the second after the Russian's terrible drop shot attempt, opening a 5-1 gap and serving for the title in game seven.

Carlos created two match points with a service winner and forced Daniil's mistake on the first to rattle off 12 of the final 14 points and celebrate the title in style.

Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz Daniil Medvedev
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