Tennis | Indian Wells 2023 | Carlos Alcaraz aims for world number one return when he takes on Daniil Medvedev

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Carlos Alcaraz [1] v Daniil Medvedev [5]
  • H2H: Medvedev leads 1-0
INDIAN WELLS, USA – Carlos Alcaraz is aiming for a return to the top of the ATP rankings when he takes in-form Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final.
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Carlos Alcaraz [1] v Daniil Medvedev [5] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Carlos Alcaraz has continued his stunning start to the year at Indian Wells as he is now one win away from returning to the world number one spot after losing at the Australian Open, where he was absent. The Spaniard’s win over Jannik Sinner showed why he is the future of the men’s game and Alcaraz will now look to win his third Masters 1000 title of his career at just 19 years old. Standing in Alcaraz’s way is the in-form Daniil Medvedev who made it 19 consecutive victories after a straight sets win over Frances Tiafoe as the fifth seed looks to win his fourth consecutive ATP title.

Carlos Alcaraz [1] v Daniil Medvedev [5] H2H: Medvedev leads 1-0
Indian Wells 2023 Indian Wells, USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $662,360/$1,262,220
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Alcaraz has had the tougher opposition on paper but Medvedev has had to work harder to reach the final.


Carlos Alcaraz [1] route to the final

Embed from Getty Images
  • R2: Thanasi Kokkinakis [Q] 6-3 6-3
  • R3: Tallon Griekspoor 7-6(4) 6-3
  • R4: Jack Draper 6-2 2-0 RET
  • QF: Felix Auger-Aliassime [8] 6-4 6-4
  • SF: Jannik Sinner [11] 7-6(4) 6-3


Daniil Medvedev [5] route to the final

Embed from Getty Images
  • R2: Brandon Nakashima 6-4 6-3
  • R3: Ilya Ivashka 6-2 3-6 6-1
  • R4: Alexander Zverev [12] 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5
  • QF: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina [23] 6-3 7-5
  • SF: Frances Tiafoe [14] 7-5 7-6(4)


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

H2H: Carlos Alcaraz (WR 2) Daniil Medvedev (WR 6)
Tournament Previous Best SF (2022) R4 (2021)
1st Serve % 66.5 65.1
Service Games Won % 84.4 86.7
Break Points Saved % 63.1 72.4
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 54.6 56.7
Break Points Converted % 47.5 47.5

Medvedev has the edge on serve while both players have proven to be equally as efficient on return this season.


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Playing Styles and Prediction

It’s now 13 victories and one defeat for Alcaraz this season as he has picked up where he left off last season by dominating opponents with his athletic and powerful baseline game. Now Alcaraz will look to recapture the world number one ranking that he lost at the start of the year and win his third Masters 1000 event in the space of 11 months.

After his semi-final win Alcaraz admitted he is happy with his level and described Medvedev as the ‘best player in the world.’

“I’m really happy with the performance today, I’m really happy to get through this great match. Jannik obviously is a really great player with great shots,” Alcaraz told the ATP website.

“I would say we’re going to have a great rivalry over the years. We are playing in the best tournaments in the world. It’s not over here. We are going to play a lot of great matches. All I can say is I’m really happy with my first final here in Indian Wells.

“I really want to play against the best tennis player in the world. I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and I would say that Daniil is the best player right now… amazing winning streak. For me, it’s going to be a really difficult challenge but I’m really prepared for that. I will summon my best tomorrow in the final.”

Next for Alcaraz is Medvedev who secured his 19th consecutive victory over Tiafoe but had to seal victory on his eighth match point. After leaving the top ten at the Australian Open, Medvedev has responded in fine fashion and is now one win away from his fourth consecutive ATP title of the season.

After reaching the final, Medvedev admitted he is playing better and better as each match goes on.

“I’m playing better and better I would say,” Medvedev told the ATP website.

“When I rolled my ankle I started playing better on this court! They’re still not my favourite conditions to play, so that’s why also at the end [today] I was struggling probably. On any other court I could do better with the match points, but we never know. But when you’re in the final you cannot complain, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hope I can play my best tennis.”

Alcaraz will look to be aggressive but will also have to be patient as being over-aggressive could result in unforced errors. Medvedev will look to continue to serve well and remain accurate from the baseline but will need to be careful not to be too passive especially with Alcaraz’s variety.

This should be a great battle between two in-form players and two players who have different styles of play. In the end Alcaraz’s overall power, court coverage and tactical intelligence gives him the slight advantage but there won’t be much to separate the two players with the Indian Wells title on the line.

Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.



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