Carlos Alcaraz kept his hopes of regaining the world No. 1 ranking alive this week by overcoming Janic Ciner in the final against Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev has previously fought his streak to 19 matches from eventual home hope Francis Tiafoe.
The former world No. 1 let seven match points slip and was broken twice en route to a straight-sets victory.
Medvedev needed a second round qualifier to secure his spot in the final 7-5, 7-6(4).
“In the end it was crazy,” Medvedev said.
“It’s been really tight for me. I’ll say that [after] 6-5, 40/0, I think I was tight on Dews saying, ‘Oh my God, that’s a lot of missed opportunities, this might not be good for me.’ So I was very strict [but] I still managed to play well… The ace [on match point] It was a relief, I’m very happy to be able to stay undefeated in this match.
Medvedev is not happy with the conditions in Indian Wells, where the court has been playing exceptionally slow this season.
Although he is ready to make some jokes about it.
“I’m playing better and better to say the least,” said Medvedev, who admitted to struggling with subpar conditions in the early rounds in the California desert. “I started playing better on this court when I turned my ankle!
“It’s still not my favorite situation to play in, that’s why in the end [today] Maybe I was struggling. I could have done better with the relevant points in any other court, but we never know. But you can’t complain when you’re in the finals; So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can play my best tennis.
Alcaraz needed a tie in the first set of his match against Jannik Siner to ensure he still didn’t drop a set at the 2023 Indian Wells Open.
“I’m very happy with today’s performance,” Alcaraz said.
“I am very happy to go through this great match. Jannik is obviously a very good shot player.
“I’d say we’re going to have a great rivalry over the years. We play in the best tournaments in the world. It didn’t end here. We are going to play many great matches. All I can say is that I am very happy with my first final here in Indian Wells.
Sinner held the stick against Alcaraz in recent meetings and the Spaniard is happy to grow.
“It’s not easy to play with Jannik. I had to overcome some problems. I made a point,” Alcarazalso said.
“I knew I had to step up. [beat] Janic was a very close first set. In the second set, I got rid of all the nerves and played more relaxed. I think that was the key to everything.
Alcaraz is now relishing the opportunity to test himself against Medvedev, an in-form player on the ATP Tour.
“Of course I want to play against the best tennis player in the world,” Alcaraz said.
“I say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and I say Daniel is the best player right now… what an amazing streak.
“It will be a very difficult challenge for me but I am very prepared for it. I will call the best in the finals tomorrow,” he said.
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