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  Rashtriya Sahara Roznama Sahara
Indian Wells: Alcaraz, Swiatek win titles
Last Updated : 18 Mar 2024 12:20:31 PM IST
Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz

 

Carlos Alcaraz defended his trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev 7-6(5) 6-1, whereas Iga Swiatek bagged the 20th title of her career without dropping a single set across the tournament, defeating Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-0, at the Indian Wells Open final.

For Alcaraz, the journey to defend his title was riddled with challenges and doubts. Nursing an ankle issue, the young Spaniard faced an uphill battle against the formidable Daniil Medvedev in the final. Alcaraz rose to the occasion, staging a remarkable comeback after a tense opening set. After a tight opening set which Medvedev led 6-5, Alcaraz forced a tie-break which he edged 7-5 to take the advantage in the contest.

In the second set it was a different story as Alcaraz steamrolled the world No. 4 to clinch his first title of the year - and first since Wimbledon last summer.

Alcaraz is only the sixth player to successfully defend the Indian Wells crown.

Reflecting on his triumph, Alcaraz expressed gratitude for overcoming obstacles and seizing the moment on the grand stage of Indian Wells. His victory not only cements his status as a rising star in the tennis world but also serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and self-belief.

“I’m feeling great right now, this tournament means a lot to me,” said Alcaraz, who is the first man to win back-to-back at Indian Wells since Novak Djokovic in 2016.

“Playing here is so special to me but I think this year is a bit more special because before the tournament I was thinking about whether I could play my best or not.”

“I was not feeling well with my ankle. Weeks before the tournament I was hitting for 30 minutes with no movement, so there was a lot of doubt for me, but I was really happy to be able to overcome those problems and at the end feel better.”

In the women’s final, Iga Swiatek showcased her dominance on the women's circuit with a commanding victory over Maria Shakari in two straight sets.

The younger player, Swiatek, unsurprisingly jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Sakkari held her serve to win one back and start to pose a threat to her opponent. The Greek then leveled the score at 3-3 with a spectacular break of Swiatek and bit back again to make it 4-4.

But in the end, the rising star from Poland picked up a level and won the opening set 6-4.

She has won every single one of her 69 WTA 1000 matches prior to that place. And it wouldn't stop here, either. Nearly every rally saw Swiatek display her exceptional talent, taking down the world No. 9 and obliterating any hope for improvement. Sakkari, who had lost all hope, appeared powerless during the disastrous final match.

Swiatek showed her supreme quality in nearly every rally, wearing down the world No.9 and closing up every suggestion of light at the end of the tunnel. An utterly demoralised Sakkari looked helpless in the destructive final game.

It was a ruthless display to dismantle Sakkari 6-0 in the second set, the end of which came just over 20 minutes after the first.



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