INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — carlos alcaraz defeated daniel medvedev 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open title and regain the world No. 1 ranking.
The 19-year-old Spaniard will move from second to first in the ATP Tour rankings on Monday, displacing Novak Djokovic. The Serb withdrew from Indian Wells before the tournament began when he was unable to enter the US because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“For me, it’s a dream come true again,” Alcaraz said. “Obviously, to be up against great players like Novak is an incredible feeling.”
“I would say this has been the perfect tournament,” he said.
Last year, Alcaraz became the youngest man to reach No. 1 in ATP history after his US Open title.
He set another mark in the third round at Indian Wells. It was then that Alcaraz notched the 100th win of his career, the second fastest player behind John McEnroe to do so.
Alcaraz also became the first man to win the tournament without dropping a set since Roger Federer in 2017 and the youngest man to win the title in the desert.
“I really trust every shot I take,” he said. “If I fail, I don’t care.”
Alcaraz hit 19 winners and committed 10 unforced errors while keeping Medvedev off balance with a steady series of serves and volleys and drop shots. The teenager never faced a break point as he opened up a 3-0 lead in the first set and 4-0 in the second.
“What has improved a lot is not taking pressure, just playing relaxed,” said Alcaraz. “That’s why I show a great level, because I feel that I don’t have pressure. I enjoy myself. I’m playing relaxed”.
Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak ended. He returned to his title run in Rotterdam in February. He later won tournaments in Doha and Dubai.
“I want to congratulate you on the work you have done in the last few months,” Alcaraz told his opponent. “Winning three titles in a row and reaching the final here is an incredible achievement.”
Alcaraz enjoyed a dream start to the Indian Wells first-time finalists showdown as she earned an early break for a 2-0 lead and dropped just six points on serve as she ran into the opening set in 36 minutes.
Alcaraz broke to love in the first game of the second set and held to love with a 2-0 lead when a resigned Medvedev at one point in the match lost 10 straight points.
The hard-hitting Alcaraz continued to drag Medvedev from corner to corner while barely breaking a sweat as he wrapped up a seemingly stress-free victory in 70 minutes.
“I tried. I tried. I don’t like to lose, but today unfortunately it was quite easy,” Medvedev said to laughter from the crowd. “Congratulations to you, Carlos. You are the most respected player. I think you greet 300 people a day.
“It was an amazing week in many ways. I have a love-hate relationship with the courts here, but I would like to thank this court. I was giving it a hard time this week, so it gave me a hard time, too. But I gave me a chance to finish the tournament and I will definitely be back.”
Alcaraz is now 14-1 in 2023 after missing the early part of the season with injuries. His only loss was against the British player. cameron norrie in the final of the Rio Open in February.
Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk was included in this report.