Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz comfortably beat Daniil Medvedev in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells to reclaim the world no 1 ranking. Medvedev beat the Spaniard in their previous meeting at Wimbledon in 2021 but was soundly beaten on this occasion. Alcaraz demonstrated a good mixture of patient and aggressive tennis in windy conditions to win the match 6-3 6-2 in California.
Novak Djokovic had returned to the top of the world rankings in January after he won the Australian Open. However, the Serb was unable to play at Indian Wells because he was denied entry into USA because he has not received a vaccination for Covid-19. In his absence Alcaraz knew he would overtake his rival if he won the tournament and took full advantage.
The victory was Alcaraz’s third ATP 1000 title and is only two behind his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal of five titles before turning 20. Next up for the 19-year-old is the Miami Open where he is the defending champion.
Nadal was also unable to play in Indian Wells due to injury. The 22-time Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his 600 points he gained last year and therefore dropped out of the top 10 rankings for the first time since 2005! Nadal held the record with an incredible 912-week stay inside the top 10. The last time he was outside Carlos Alcaraz was only two years old.
The 36-year-old Spaniard is aiming to return at the Monte Carlo Masters next month as he aims to be fit for the French Open. Nadal has won the Paris Grand Slam a staggering 14 times and will still be regarded as the man to beat if he is able to regain his fitness in time for Roland Garros.