The Italian Jannik Sinner took a painful revenge against Carlos Alcaraz on Friday by beating him in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters 1000, a defeat that will prevent the Spanish prodigy from revalidating the title and keeping the ATP number one.
Sinner, who will play his second final in Miami on Sunday against Russian Daniil Medvedev, avenged his loss two weeks ago in the Indian Wells semifinals. against an Alcaraz who will now have to return the world leadership to Novak Djokovic.
The Italian, number 11 on the ATP, won 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 in a spectacular and dramatic duel of three hours and three minutes against Alcaraz, apparently suffering from cramps in the last set.
“This obviously means a lot. We both played at a very high level again. I just tried to do my best,” Sinner said after his win. “In the third set I saw that he suffered for a couple of games and I tried to put pressure there and I’m very happy about it. We both played very aggressive tennis and today (the win) fell to me.”
The good streak that Carlos Alcaraz brought
At 19 years old, Alcaraz accumulated an astonishing streak of 10 consecutive victories without dropping a single set with which he lifted his first trophy at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 and regained the world number one.
The Murcian needed to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’, as the double of victories in Indian Wells (California) and Miami (Florida) is known, so as not to hand the lead back to Djokovic, who was unable to compete in the first two Masters 1000 of the year due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Displaying the most overwhelming tennis on the circuit, Alcaraz dreamed of becoming the youngest champion of the ‘Sunshine Double’ but all his plans crashed on Friday against Sinner, his great generational rival.
Spanish and Italian offered a first set of high carats, with some of the best points of the season to be enjoyed by a crowd attended by basketball player Luka Doncic and Colombian singer Maluma, among other celebrities.
Alcaraz was able to recover from a 1-4 deficit to pocket the first set in the ‘tiebreak’. But Sinner resisted tooth and nail to concede a third consecutive defeat against the Spaniard and, with a decisive break in the ninth game, he managed to make Alcaraz lose his first set of the tournament and had to fight in a third set in which he began to get cramps
The Spaniard, who had one day less rest due to the postponement of his quarterfinals due to the rain, had to stop several times on the track and flex his legs trying to drive away the pain.
The clash led to a roller coaster of emotions in which the Spaniard, although he had a break point to equalize the set, lost the battle against his great adversary and friend, whom he did not wish luck for the final. “Go for it, I’ll cheer you up,” a smiling Alcaraz told him online.
Medvedev, the other finalist of the tournament
In the afternoon, former number one Daniil Medvedev qualified for his first Miami final by defeating fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3. With this victory Medvedev accumulates a presence in five consecutive finals in a spectacular start to the season in which of his last 24 games he only lost the Indian Wells final.
“I have to believe in myself. I know that I am capable of winning big tournaments, that I can play well, beat anyone,” the Moscow tennis player stressed.
Medvedev has lifted the trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai this season, recovering the excellent moment of form with which in 2021 he achieved his only Grand Slam title (US Open) and became world number one.
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