Djokovic, 35, refuses to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and remains not welcome in the United States. He tried to obtain an exemption, but was denied by the US government. Djokovic will also miss the Miami Masters, which will be held this week.
“It means a lot to me to be number one in the world again. It wasn’t easy, but it was easy because Djokovic didn’t participate here,” Alcaraz said after his victory (6-3, 6-2) in the final over Daniil Medvedev.
About the author
Guus Peters has been writing about football and tennis since 2014 De Volkskrant.
The 27-year-old Russian has won 19 consecutive matches and is considered one of the best hard court players of his generation, but he has been struggling with being outplayed by Alcaraz. “Obviously Daniel hasn’t reached his best level, but I’m happy with my personal performance,” Alcaraz said.
Medvedev, who recently won tournaments in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, complained earlier in the tournament about the slow lanes of Indian Wells. “It should be forbidden to play here,” the 2021 US Open winner said during his match against Alexander Zverev. “To dare to name this solid court is a disgrace.”
Third overall win
For Alcaraz, who won the US Open in September, his third final victory in a major was confirmation that he is fully back. The super talent saw his ultimate achievement last year: he won his first Grand Slam title in New York and became the youngest world number one as a teenager.
But in the weeks after the orgasm, he also experienced the strange realities of playing tennis at the highest level. Alcaraz has had a difficult period both mentally and physically: after his first Grand Slam title, he says he feels some satisfaction and his muscular body is suffering too. He suffered an abdominal and hamstring injury.
He missed the ATP finals at the end of last season and withdrew from the Australian Open as the world number one at the start of this year. Djokovic took full advantage in Melbourne: he not only won his 22nd Grand Slam title, but also regained the first place in the world rankings. Alcaraz: “I missed a number of tournaments that I would have liked to play in, but I continued to work hard with my team.”
The Spaniard, who may be more prone to injuries due to his energy-consuming bout, returned to two minor tournaments in South America in February after four months out with an injury. He won in Buenos Aires and reached the final in Rio de Janeiro, where he again struggled with hamstring problems. Without Djokovic and Nadal, who withdrew due to injury, the teenager was the star in Indian Wells – this is how quickly his star is rising.
the way of playing
The stadium, which can accommodate more than sixteen thousand spectators, was full since the first Alcaraz match. By comparison: Iga Swiatek, Poland’s number one in the women’s world, played her first match in front of nearly empty stands. “I try to make people enjoy tennis,” Alcaraz said after his first-round match. “And I think they like my way of playing.”
Alcaraz also showed his versatility against Medvedev, formerly the world number one: he alternated devastating forehand strikes with sensitive shots, regularly entered the net to unbalance Medvedev, and sang defender Burr. The Carriers haven’t dropped a set on their way to their Indian Wells title.
The question is whether he can continue his dominance during the European clay court season, which starts in April. Nadal announces his return and is aiming for Roland Garros for his 15th victory in Paris, while an unvaccinated Djokovic also attends.
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