Repeat Stories: How Carlos Alcaraz Defended his Indian Wells Title

How Carlos Alcaraz Defended his Indian Wells Title image

📖 Published on: March 18th, 2024

✍️ Updated: March 20th, 2024

⏳ 9 mins read

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With Novak Djokovic withdrawing early from the Indian Wells, it meant that the bank was wide open in the tournament. Carlos Alcaraz capitalized well on that opportunity with a promising finish in the tournament as he successfully defended his title with a top-notch victory against some of the best players in the ATP Tour. But how did the Spanish star pull off such an impressive campaign to kickstart his 2024 ATP campaign?

 

Cruising for Greatness: Alcaraz’s Previous Games

 

Since the 2023 ATP Finals, Alcaraz has failed to come up with some huge runs in the ATP Tour. His initial push for the Australian Open saw him fall short in the quarterfinal stage after losing to Alexander Zverev in four sets. Alcaraz would then compete in the Argentina Open, only to drop his game in the semis against Nicolas Jarry in straight sets. Alcaraz also tried to make a push in the Rio Open, only to fall early in the Round of 32 after suffering an ankle injury and allowed the game to end in a walkover instead.

 

Alcaraz suffered an injury in his Rio Open campaign image

 

Alcaraz went on to recover his ankle, and later got the green light for him to play in the Indian Wells and the subsequent Miami Open. The doctors have claimed that he is good to go, allowing him to play on the Sunshine Double for this stretch – and it was the perfect chance for him to make the push that he needed to get back on track in the Tour. Now all that’s left for him was to make his way and defend his title in the Indian Wells.

 

Scare on the Round of 64 and Cruising Through R16

 

Alcaraz defeated Matteo Arnaldi in the Round of 64 image

Alcaraz slowly got to his form to start his run in the Indian Wells. The Spanish star had to jump off a scary battle against Matteo Arnaldi, who scored a 7-6 win in the first set of the Round of 64 clash against Alcaraz. The 20-year-old had to shake his jitters first before coming up with two straight wins, beating Arnaldi in the next two and only allowing one game since that loss in the first set. This would then set the tone for Alcaraz’s next two runs all the way to the Round of 16, where he managed to pull off impressive wins after that. The Spanish star fended off Felix Auger Aliassime in the Round of 32 in two straight sets at 6-2 and 6-3, making his aces work like a charm in that round.

 

Alcaraz went on a showdown against Fabian Maroszan in the Round of 16, sweeping a 6-3, 6-3 win over the Italian hopeful and pushing his case towards the deeper stages of the Indian Wells as he secured a quarterfinal berth - and a chance to settle a score against one of his rivals in the ATP Tour.

 

Quarter-Final Clash with Alexander Zverev

 

Alcaraz would then meet a familiar face in the Quarter-finals of the Indian Wells, battling Alexander Zverev once more in a crucial tournament as he did in the 2024 Australian Open, where the Spanish star was ousted in the same stage of the Grand Slam. This was, however, a chance for Alcaraz to exact his revenge on one of his rivals in the ATP Tour, and he did a great job of putting up a strong show of force when it mattered most.

Zverev only managed to win a total of four games in this clash with Alcaraz. The 20-year-old limited the German star to just 38 points won, including a 78/51/58 split in the serve win rates. Alcaraz also dominated in the receiving points, which played a huge role in his push for the 6-1 closing-set victory to book his ticket to the semis.

Alcaraz bested Zverev and avenged his Australian Open loss image

 

Semis Rivalry Showdown versus Jannik Sinner

 

Alcaraz stormed back to defeat Sinner in three sets image

Of course, Alcaraz had to go deeper in the tournament, which meant that the star would also be facing against one of the best in the ATP Tour. This semis round featured the world no. 2 and no. 3 in one big battle, and a win for Jannik Sinner meant that he would also move up to Alcaraz’s spot in the ATP Rankings. This was a must-win for Alcaraz, and he did not fail to impress in a showdown between the ATP Tour’s rising stars when it mattered most.

Sinner held Alcaraz to a 6-1 loss in the first set, bringing the Spanish star to a pressured spot as it meant an easy closing win and his hope to defend the Indian Wells title coming to an early end if he failed to get his game going against the Australian Open winner.

 

However, Alcaraz stepped up his game once more and delivered a promising rally, holding the Italian star to just five games won in two sets, showing how the 20-year-old is capable of dictating the pace of the game with his impressive and fast volleys that decided the game in his favor. That wrapped up the semis for good as Alcaraz edged Sinner at 1-6, 6-3, and 6-2 – and it also ended the Italian’s 16-0 start to 2024.

 

Title Defense Against Daniil Medvedev

 

With the thriller showdown against Sinner out of the way, Alcaraz had one final stop to make, which was a clash against the fiery star Daniil Medvedev, who has played inspired tennis to start the season with impressive wins in the earlier tournaments. Alcaraz was already reeling with an injured ankle before the tournament began, and he showed in this clash that he was ready to roll with the bigs in a battle for his title defense.

Of course, Medvedev managed to put up a fight in this clash, showing that he has what it takes to go on the big stage and the final while also making Alcaraz work for the first set with five deuces before the Spanish star managed to win the tie and defeat Medvedev at 7-6.

Alcaraz defeated Medvedev in the Final to retain his Indian Wells title image

 

This allowed him to take a 1-0 lead in the final, and just a win away from making a massive finish in the Indian Wells for the second year in a row. Before he entered the tournament, Alcaraz was standing at 6-3 in the season, and he managed to exceed expectations with the title chance on the line.

 

Alcaraz celebrated after beating Medvedev in the final image

 

In the second set, Alcaraz took over and made the big sweep in his game as he went on to score six games and defeat Medvedev in a massive stretch that proved to be the deciding set. Alcaraz went on to win 6-1 in the final set to close out the Indian Wells title in his favor, putting up a strong win to get his campaign back on track. This also marked the first tournament victory for the 20-year-old since the 2023 Wimbledon against Djokovic.

 

What’s Next for Carlos Alcaraz?

 

Alcaraz is slated to play the second leg of the Sunshine Double in the Miami Open, which is another chance for him to come up with an impressive stretch as the star seeks to put up some impressive rallies that would bring him to the top of the ATP Tour once more. With the next Major still far away, Alcaraz can capitalize on winning the next Masters 1000 tournament at hand, and this should make him a great option to bet on as well.

 

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