If he manages to take the tournament, he will recover the number one in the world
“The most dangerous thing about Sinner is the pressure and aggressiveness of his blows,” said the Murcian
Carlos Alcaraz will play this Sunday the final of Indian Wells before the russian Daniel Medvedev after defeating the Italian Jannik Sinner this Saturday, who made things very difficult for him in the first set and who succumbed in the second set to the imposing power of the Spanish.
Alcaraz, 19 years old, defeated in the semifinal Sinnerof 21, by 7-6 (4) and 6-3 in one hour and 52 minutes to qualify for the final of the first Masters 1000 of the season.
After losing in 2022 in the Indian Wells semifinals against Rafa Nadal, Alcaraz will not only have the option of being crowned in the Californian desert but, with a victory, also will recover the number one in the world, now held by the Serbian Novak Djokovic.
A formidable challenge now appears on his way: a Medvedev in a state of grace who beat the American Frances Tiafoe in the semifinals (7-5 and 6-4) and who has won 19 games in a row and won three consecutive tournaments (Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai).
But the Murcian, who has only played against Medvedev on one occasion (a loss at Wimbledon two years ago), he is already used to the big lights and to dazzle in the most demanding moments.
Alcaraz arrived in California with doubts about the injury in the hamstrings he suffered in the final in Rio de Janeiro.
However, the young man has shown a magnificent competitive spirit and a great capacity for reaction standing in the final without having lost a single set in this edition of Indian Wells.
If he won the so-called ‘fifth Grand Slam’, Alcaraz would join Rafael Nadal as the second player in history to win three Masters 1000 before turning 20 (Nadal got 6 and Alcaraz has already triumphed in Miami and Madrid).
On a practically full central court and with some Spanish flags between the stands, Alcaraz faced off against a Sinner also called to lead the new generation of tennis players and with whom he has already signed some sensational duels in the past.
“It has been a great game. Jannik is a great player. He pushes me to improve, he makes me play at my highest level. That’s why we played great games”, Alcaraz pointed out on the track as soon as the match finished.
Number 13 in the world ranking and with 2-2 in his four previous meetings against Alcaraz, Sinner had beaten him in 2022 in the Umag final and eliminated him in the second round at Wimbledon.
However, in the quarterfinals of the US Open Sinner bowed to Alcaraz after an exciting encounter of more than five hours and that ended at three in the morning in New York.
The Murcian warned in the preview that Sinner’s “most dangerous” is the pressure and aggressiveness of his blowswhich turn each rally into a challenge of great difficulty.
Alcaraz was very fine in his definition since Sinner started the game pulling very hard and without rationing efforts.
The Spaniard was not far behind, also very confident at the beginning, and both players kept their first serves with relative ease.
The first moment of tension for Sinner came with a double fault that gave rise to the first ‘break’ ball for Alcaraz (30-40 and 2-2), but he took a direct kick out of his sleeve to get away with it.
However, the Italian stumbled again with another double fault and, with a setback to the net, he allowed the first break for the Spaniard (3-2).
Alcaraz’s joy did not last long, as he made several errors in a row and lost serve shortly after with a scoreless game (4-4).
Both players raised their benefits in several vibrant rallies with masterful forehandsvery hard blows and services such as cannon shots.
With the match marked by intense equality, Sinner had a set point behind the rest after a couple of misses from Alcaraz, but The one from El Palmar saved it by going up to the net and sent the first sleeve to the ‘tie break’.
There he ended up raising his arms Alcaraz, finer in key moments from a set that either of them could have taken and which ended with a brilliant backhand crossed to the line.
The victory in the first set gave Alcaraz an important moral boost, who began to play looser, more comfortable, more fluid.
So, Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil broke Sinner’s serve in his first turn of the second set and he began to alternate in an excellent way delicious left-handers, sharp forehands as sharp as stingers and also some balloons fallen from the sky at the right moment.
In fact, it was one of those perfect lobs that culminated a wonderful rally with whiche Alcaraz went 3-0 leaving the public of Indian Wells with their mouths open.
Sinner did not throw in the towel until the end but finally gave in to Alcaraz who closed the game with great confidence and who he is only one step away from glory in Indian Wells and number one in the world.