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Tsitsipas 'Headed In Right Direction'

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2023

Tsitsipas ‘Headed In Right Direction’

Greek struggled with arm pain in Indian Wells

Stefanos Tsitsipas missed Acapulco late last month with a shoulder injury and continued to feel the effects of the issue in an early Indian Wells exit. But as the Greek prepares for the Miami Open presented by Itau, he is hopeful that he can play pain-free at the year’s second ATP Masters 1000.

“Everything is getting better and I’m heading toward the right direction,” he said Tuesday during the tournament’s media day. “[I hope] to play pain-free and just be able to step out there and show something different than Indian Wells because Indian Wells was a big struggle… I hope I get to play with more of an element of fun on the court and not think too much about my arm.”

Tsitsipas is seeded second in Miami, where he has reached at least the fourth round in each of the past three tournament editions, including a career-best quarter-final showing in 2021. After overcoming a wrist injury that required surgery to make a strong start to the 2022 ATP Tour season, the Greek hopes to rebound form his latest setback with similar success. 

“My health is the most important thing that I could have in tennis,” he said. “When I’m feeling healthy, everything falls into place nicely. I’m enjoying myself on the court, I’m getting creative, I can mix up my game and I feel like nothing can go wrong. This is what my aim is for this tournament, to just play pain-free and see how my arm responds on these next few days.”

Last year in Miami, Tsitsipas was knocked out by eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in the last 16. It was the second of the pair’s three ATP Head2Head meetings, with the Greek still seeking his first win. After seeing Alcaraz win Indian Wells and return to the top of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — a position Tsitsipas was one win away from claiming for the first time in the Australian Open final — the 24-year-old says he is happy to see players from his generation succeed.

“I’m happy for them,” he said, responding to a question about Alcaraz and Indian Wells finalist Daniil Medvedev. “I believe in the message of ubuntu… by having others be good, [to] sort of witness greatness of others around me, I am also allowing myself to become better too. I believe in that message and I think the fact that they’re doing well is benefitting me too and it’s giving me a clear, better view of how I should approach my game.”

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Miami Draw: Alcaraz Learns Path To Sunshine Double

Tsitsipas, who cannot face Medvedev until the semis or Alcaraz until the final, will open his Miami campaign against Richard Gasquet or a qualifier/lucky loser.

The two-time ATP Masters 1000 champion also shared some insight into his life off the court, explaining how he has changed his habits on the road since his early years on the ATP Tour.

“I have been very open to be a bit more loose and not so strict with myself the last few years, comparing myself to three or four years ago when I got started,” he said. “I was extremely disciplined. Not that I’m not now, but I can let go sometimes. For example, I would just spend the entire two weeks sometimes locked inside my room and go nowhere. I do allow myself a little bit more freedom now and I think it has benefitted me a lot and gave me the opportunity to also grow as a person and not be 100 per cent focussed on the tennis every single week.”

If Tsitsipas can find the tennis he needs to book a long stay in Miami, he’ll certainly have no shortage of options for off-court fun in South Florida.

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Eyes On The Prize: 'Relaxed' Alcaraz Ready To Roll In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2023

Eyes On The Prize: ‘Relaxed’ Alcaraz Ready To Roll In Miami

Top seed returns as defending champion

Last year, Carlos Alcaraz arrived at the Miami Open presented by Itau at No. 16 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Twelve months on and the Spaniard is back in south Florida as the defending champion and World No. 1.

After triumphing in Indian Wells last week, all eyes will be on Alcaraz as he aims to remain in top spot and become the eighth player to win the Sunshine Double. With expectations high, the 19-year-old is taking everything in his stride.

“I don’t feel the pressure too much. I know the things I have to do,” said Alcaraz, who must win his fourth ATP Masters 1000 crown to hold onto No. 1, because he is dropping the 1000 points he won in Miami last year. “I need to play relaxed and not mind if I lose or if I play well or not.

“My goal is always the same. To feel comfortable on court. To enjoy playing tennis and try to have great thoughts when playing. And that is why I am playing at a good level. I am enjoying every single second and playing relaxed. That is what I am thinking about on court.”

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Miami Draw: Alcaraz Learns Path To Sunshine Double

Alcaraz produced lights-out tennis throughout his run to the title in California, becoming the first Indian Wells champion to not drop a set since Roger Federer in 2017, and the first to do so in at least six matches since Rafael Nadal in 2007.

Holding a 14-1 record on the season and back at No. 1, Alcaraz is a dominant force on the ATP Tour. However, he isn’t satisfied with his level yet as he continues to seek improvements in his already well-rounded game.

“I always say that you can improve everything a little bit more,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference. “You have to improve, you have to get better every day. That is why the big players, the ‘Big Three’ for example, did throughout their careers, improving a bit every day.”

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Alcaraz arrives at the hard-court event in Miami with fond memories, having soared to the title last year. The Spaniard defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud en route to the trophy, receiving vocal crowd support throughout.

“I have great supporters here. I remember last year was unbelievable feeling with the crowd,” Alcaraz said. “There are a lot of people who speak Spanish, so I feel at home. Playing here, great matches and against great players, it was an amazing run last year. I am really excited to come here in front of all the fans. I can’t wait.”

The top seed will begin his title defence against Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier and could face two-time Miami champion and former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the third round. The second ATP Masters 1000 event of the season starts on Wednesday. Novak Djokovic will return to World No. 1 if Alcaraz does not win the Miami title.

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Coaches Excited For World Tennis Conference 3

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2023

Coaches Excited For World Tennis Conference 3

Toni Nadal, Frederic Fontang and Vincenzo Santopadre all participating

Preparations are ramping up ahead of the third World Tennis Conference, with many world class coaches signing up for the event.

Organised by the Global Professional Tennis Coaches Association (GPTCA) and the Segal Institute, the event will be held virtually from 30 March – 2 April. After a successful first two editions, the conference continues its mission to connect the world’s top high-performance tennis coaches and sports scientists with other coaches and people around the world.

The four-day programme is thoughtfully designed to raise the level of understanding surrounding player development, while helping ambitious tennis coaches on their journey of self-development.

Visit World Tennis Conference Website To Sign Up

Giles Cervara, Federic Fontang, Vincenzo Santopadre and Toni Nadal are among the 68 talented speakers participating. Hear from some of the coaches who are part of the event as they describe the importance of the conference.

Gilles Cervara –  (Coach of World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev)
“I’m very pleased and honoured to be part of the third World Tennis Conference by GPTCA/SI supported by ATP. I am very grateful to be among all these great tennis coaches of the Tour. Congratulations to the organisation. I think it is very important to try to inspire and to help other coaches from all over the world to improve to be a better tennis coach day after day… This is my case too. I will be watching many WTC presentations to keep learning and improving my own style of coaching absorbing some other ideas. I’m glad to be connected and help coaches from all over the world who want to connect with me.”

Frederic Fontang – (Coach of World No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime)
“My perception about the importance of the World Tennis Conference by GPTCA/SI supported by ATP for three years now is that it’s important to share the knowledge between the coaches and committed people because it is an individual sport where we must take the habit to see and share our knowledge. You as a tennis coach must reflect, to put on paper your ideas, having a reflection on how to improve and of course to share that with other coaches and the tennis community. It is very important because tennis is growing and improving. When you give in general in life, you receive. I hope you will enjoy WTC3.”

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Toni Nadal, Gilles Cervara Among Speakers At World Tennis Conference

Alberto Castellani – (Former coach of Rainer Schuettler, Marc Rosset, Hicham Arazi, Janko Tipsarevic and Ivo Karlovic)
“As GPTCA President and a tennis coach, I always believe that the tennis coach needs to know a lot of things. The knowledge has to improve during all their careers. I also said that the coach is like an artist. We must put together these two things. The coach must use imagination and creativity a lot of time to work on a lot of exercises, in every project and with the player´s relationship. Also, we need to use our social intelligence using empathy to everyone in our project. In the same way, we should use a scientific approach and rules of planification. We are artists and scientists together. This conference puts us in front of so many experts in different fields.”

Marco Panichi – (Physical coach of World No. 2 Novak Djokovic)
“The process of sharing information with an open mind to improve the training of players, as well as the processes and programmes, applied is a need and a common goal of each of us in our profession. In my third participation in the World Tennis Conference by GPTCA/SI with ATP support, I believe that we are on a path of continuous improvement, and I am honoured to be one of the many speakers who contribute their ideas and experience to develop more and better player projects.”

Vincenzo Santopadre – (Coach of World No. 23 Matteo Berrettini)
“I think all of us were born to be better each day. In that sense, it is important to observe what’s happening in the tennis world and in general to continue having an open mentality to keep learning and feel that we are going in the right pathway in our lives. We need to be curious, and passionate in what to do, to be ready to learn and grow especially in different areas. The World Tennis Conference is helping us a lot to listen to several ideas and concepts from others. This is a way to create growth having the will to be better each day by day with optimism and a positive mentality. The best I can wish for everybody is to have that kind of open mentality and to help each other.”

Liam Smith – (Former coach of Gael Monfils, Coco Gauff and Radu Albot)
“Tennis coaches getting together and sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences is incredibly valuable. There is always something to learn by no matter how long you have been coaching. There is always new ideas, and new ways to look at things from different perspectives and that is what makes coach conferences like World Tennis Conference so valuable. I am really looking forward to seeing all the presentations and I feel honoured to be part of the 3rd edition of WTC.”

Franco Davin – (Coach of World No. 45 Brandon Nakashima and WTA World No. 11 Veronika Kudermetova – Former coach of Juan Martin Del Potro and Gaston Gaudio)
“I believe in continuous learning in our profession. It is very important and good for our sport to have an event like the World Tennis Conference by GPTCA/SI with ATP Support. It is key to have important coaches on the circuit together with experts and legends all together giving their opinion, and sharing knowledge with everyone, since tennis is a sport that has so many edges to analyse and learn and it is very good for everyone to participate. This is a great conference and opportunity to be a better coach and I am very glad to be part of it.”

Dominik Hrbaty – (Slovakia Davis Cup captain)
“The World Tennis Conference is one of the best ways to learn, to see other approaches in tennis, and is a huge library of knowledge for me. It´s crazy how much you can find, how much you can search in all aspects of the game and just going on and on. Whatever you need to have with your player or you try to find some response to help someone like a coach, you can always find it there. I learned so much of it because I like to listen, I like to see different styles of different ways of other coaches.”

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Crazy 24 Hours Has Borges On Brink Of Miami Main Draw

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2023

Crazy 24 Hours Has Borges On Brink Of Miami Main Draw

World No. 68 won Phoenix Challenger Sunday, Miami qualifying match Monday

Nuno Borges is a man in a hurry. But success can put a spring in your step when you need to hustle.

Within 24 hours, the Portuguese World No. 68 went from winning the ATP 175 Challenger title in Phoenix, Arizona in America’s south-west to winning a first-round qualifying match at the Miami Open presented by Itau, the ATP Masters 1000 event in south-east Florida.

“When I won that second match on Saturday I knew it would be complicated,” Borges said. “There were not many options and the direct flights were fully booked and I knew I had to play Monday. Thankfully I got a late start.”

By the time Borges defeated Alexander Shevchenko in Sunday’s three-set final of the Arizona Tennis Classic, it was already 7pm in Miami. He was due on court to play Steve Johnson at 4.30pm Monday.

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“We went back to the hotel, got some food, then headed to the airport for a flight at 11.20pm (Pacific time, 2.30am Miami time). Borges landed in Atlanta at 5.30am ET for a 7.10am connection. And then there was a hiccup.

“We got on the plane and we had a 30-minute wait and then we were told we would need to change planes due to a technical issue. For a second I had a thought that I wouldn’t make it to today’s match,” he said.

Borges landed in Miami around 11am, headed to the hotel for a quick nap and then took the 2pm shuttle to the site.

“I didn’t properly warm up to be honest. Just got a feel for the court with a 20-30 minute hit at 3,” he said. “Headed to physio, had a quick warm up and somehow played a great match. I felt better than I expected, to be honest. I’ve got a lot of confidence from the matches I played last week and before that.

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Borges Wins Biggest Career Title At Phoenix Challenger

“I probably got about 4 ½ hours total sleep. Maybe two hours on the first flight, 90 minutes on the second flight and then an hour’s nap at the hotel.”

Borges is on a 10-match winning streak at the Challenger level, having also won the title in Monterrey, Mexico. And he is sitting at a career-high in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The top seed in Miami qualifying on Tuesday plays Croatian Borna Gojo for a place in the main draw.

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Miami Draw: Alcaraz Learns Path To Sunshine Double

  • Posted: Mar 20, 2023

Miami Draw: Alcaraz Learns Path To Sunshine Double

Second ATP Masters 1000 event of season starts Wednesday

Carlos Alcaraz’s path to becoming the eighth player to win the Sunshine Double was set on Monday. But the Spaniard will need to overcome a series of difficult tests if he is to defend his Miami Open presented by Itau title and hold onto top spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The Spaniard lifted the trophy in south Florida last year and arrives this week off the back of a run to the title in Indian Wells, which propelled him back to World No. 1. The 19-year-old must win his fourth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami to remain on top, though, where he begins against Argentine Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier.

Alcaraz could face former World No. 1 and two-time Miami champion Andy Murray in the third round and in-form American Tommy Paul in the fourth round. The top seed is seeded to face ninth seed Taylor Fritz or seventh seed Holger Rune in the quarter-finals and could renew his rivalry against Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals.

The Italian Sinner, who could meet Andrey Rublev in the fourth round and third seed Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals, lost to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semi-finals last week in their fifth ATP Head2Head meeting.

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The third seed Casper Ruud reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami last year and will be hoping the hard-court event can once again provide him with a springboard to build from. Holding a 4-5 record on the season, the Norwegian opens against Ilya Ivashka or a qualifier and is seeded to meet Alexander Zverev in the fourth round. The German Zverev starts against Arthur Rinderknech or Taro Daniel.

In the bottom half of the draw, Daniil Medvedev will look to begin another winning run when he opens against Bernabe Zapata Miralles or Roberto Carballes Baena. The 27-year-old won 19 matches in a row before Alcaraz defeated him in the Indian Wells final.


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The fourth seed could meet Matteo Berrettini in a blockbuster fourth-round clash and Hubert Hurkacz or Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals. Hurkacz lifted the biggest trophy of his career in Miami in 2021 and reached the semi-finals last year.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will look to bounce back from an opening-round exit in Indian Wells when he takes on Richard Gasquet or a qualifier. The Greek, who enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in Miami in 2021, is seeded to meet seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last eight. The Canadian Auger-Aliassime, currently at a career-high No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, could play Indian Wells semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round. Auger-Aliassime reached the semi-finals in Miami on his debut in 2019.

<a href=''>Felix Auger-Aliassime</a>

#NextGenATP American Ben Shelton will play Chinese wild card Juncheng Shang or Adrian Mannarino on his debut in Maimi, with Hurkacz a potential third-round opponent.

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Scouting Report: Alcaraz Seeks 'Sunshine Double'; Medvedev & Ruud In Action In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 20, 2023

Scouting Report: Alcaraz Seeks ‘Sunshine Double’; Medvedev & Ruud In Action In Miami

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week

Fresh off his title triumph in Indian Wells, Carlos Alcaraz will look to complete the Sunshine Double when he takes to court this week at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

In a stacked field, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete at the second ATP Masters 1000 event of the year, held at the Hard Rock Stadium for the fifth time. looks at 10 things to watch at the outdoor hard-court event in south Florida.

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1) Alcaraz In Full Flight: World No. 1 Alcaraz missed more than three months after last year’s Rolex Paris Masters due to injury, but it has been tough to tell based on his form. By winning the BNP Paribas Open, the Spaniard improved to 14-1 on the season, including two titles and a final appearance.

Alcaraz will try to maintain his momentum in Miami, the site of his Masters 1000 breakthrough one year ago. In 2022, the teen became the youngest champion in tournament history. This edition, he will try to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’.

2) Battle For No. 1: There is more than hardware at stake in Miami. Alcaraz must defend his title to remain ahead of Novak Djokovic in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on 3 April. Anything less and the Serbian will return to top spot. Alcaraz last year became the youngest World No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history (since 1973).

3) Medvedev Begins A New Streak: Despite his loss to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells final, Medvedev has proven over the past month he is back to his best. The 27-year-old won three consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai before impressing at Indian Wells, where only Alcaraz was able to stop him. Medvedev has reached the Miami quarter-finals in each of the past two years and will try to battle even further into the draw this edition.

4) Ruud Former Finalist: Casper Ruud enjoyed a standout season on hard courts in 2022, and it all began in Miami, where the Norwegian reached his first Masters 1000 final behind wins over the likes of Cameron Norrie and Alexander Zverev. The 24-year-old, who also made the final at last year’s US Open and Nitto ATP Finals, will try to secure his maiden Masters 1000 crown this visit to Miami.

5) Fritz Spearheads Home Charge: A host of American men line up eager to become the first home champion since John Isner in 2018. World No. 10 Taylor Fritz leads the way at a tournament where he reached the Round of 16 in each of the past two years. Fritz, who already won a title earlier this year in Delray Beach, will try to claim his second Masters 1000 trophy after triumphing last year at Indian Wells.

6) Tiafoe & Paul In Form: Fritz is not the only American in the Miami spotlight. Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul are both playing the best tennis of their career. Tiafoe advanced to the Indian Wells semi-finals after breaking through for a trip to the last four at last year’s US Open, while Paul made this year’s Australian Open semi-finals and followed up with a run to the Acapulco championship match.

7) Former Champs: Alongside Alcaraz and Isner, Hubert Hurkacz and Andy Murray are the only other former Miami champions in the draw. The 2021 winner Hurkacz is chasing his second ATP Tour title of the season while 2009 and 2013 titlist Murray will hope to build on his 29-10 record at the event. The former World No. 1 recently won four three-setters en route to the Doha final.


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8) Tsitsipas Striving For Success: Stefanos Tsitsipas made a quick start to his season in Australia, where he won four matches for Greece at the United Cup and then reached the Australian Open final. The 24-year-old will chase his first title of 2023 — and his 10th tour-level trophy overall — in Miami, where he made the quarter-finals two years ago. The Greek is pursuing his third Masters 1000 crown.

9) More Players To Watch: There are plenty of players to keep your eyes on, including home favourite Ben Shelton, who thrilled fans with his power and on-court energy Down Under, where he advanced to the quarter-finals. This will be the lefty’s Miami debut. It will also be Jiri Lehecka’s first appearance at the tournament. The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up harnessed his power to great effect at the Australian Open, where like Shelton he blasted his way to the quarter-finals.

10) Hurkacz/Isner Defending Doubles Champs: Hurkacz and Isner lifted the doubles trophy in 2022 and they are entered to defend their title this year. The Polish-American duo will face a loaded field, including top seeds Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski and Indian Wells champions Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden.

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Alcaraz Returns To The Summit, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Mar 20, 2023

Alcaraz Returns To The Summit, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 20 March 2023

After 12 days of action at the BNP Paribas Open, Carlos Alcaraz left as the king, defeating Daniil Medvedev to clinch the title and rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Following the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season, looks at the movers of the week as of Monday, 20 March 2023.

View Pepperstone ATP Rankings

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No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, +1 (Joint Career High)
The 19-year-old has climbed back to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since January after winning his third ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells. The Spaniard did not drop a set en route to the trophy, becoming the ninth and youngest man to win both legs of the Sunshine Doubles – Indian Wells and Miami – in his career. Alcaraz defeated Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in the final. Read Indian Wells Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, +1
The 27-year-old is back in the Top 5 after he advanced to the final in Indian Wells. Medvedev, who had never been beyond the fourth round in five previous appearances before this year, overcame Frances Tiafoe in the semi-finals to extend his winning streak to 19 matches. He was unable to find a way past Alcaraz, who proved too strong in the championship match.

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No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime, +4 (Joint Career High)
The Canadian has jumped four spots to No. 6 after reaching the last eight in California. The 22-year-old overcame Pedro Martinez, Francisco Cerundolo and Tommy Paul to advance to his third quarter-final of the year.

No. 11 Jannik Sinner, +2
The Italian continued his impressive start to the season in Indian Wells, where he reached his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. The 21-year-old earned statement wins against Stan Wawrinka and Taylor Fritz before falling to the eventual champion in Alcaraz in their fifth ATP H2H meeting. Sinner heads to Miami 16-4 on the year.

No. 14 Frances Tiafoe, +2 (Career High)

Tiafoe has moved to a career-high No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after showcasing his dynamic game at the hard-court event. The 25-year-old American did not drop a set en route to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, defeating Marcos Giron, Jason Kubler, Alejandro Tabilo and Cameron Norrie.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz, +2 (Joint Career High)
No. 22 Marin Cilic, +2
No. 25 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, +3 (Career High)
No. 43 Jack Draper, +13
No. 44 Jiri Lehecka, +3
No. 45 Brandon Nakashima, +3
No. 52 Andy Murray, +3
No. 68 Nuno Borges, +12 (Career High)
No. 74 Marton Fucsovics, +10
No. 82 Cristian Garin, +15
No. 87 Stan Wawrinka, +13

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Alcaraz Reflects On 'Perfect Tournament' After Claiming First Indian Wells Crown

  • Posted: Mar 20, 2023

Alcaraz Reflects On ‘Perfect Tournament’ After Claiming First Indian Wells Crown

Spaniard did not drop a set in title run

Carlos Alcaraz was just about perfect during his run to the BNP Paribas Open title. In his Sunday press conference after a dominant 6-3, 6-2 final win against Daniil Medvedev, he said as much when reflecting on his third ATP Masters 1000 trophy and his return to the top of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“It feels amazing to lift the trophy here, to recover the No. 1 [ranking]. I would say this has been the perfect tournament,” he reflected. “It was good for me, [at] this tournament that I really wanted to win, and for me, it’s amazing.”

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Alcaraz Wins Indian Wells, Returns To World No. 1

Alcaraz was untouchable from start to finish in the desert, never more so than in the title match. He did not lose a set during his run, becoming the first Indian Wells champion to achieve that feat since Roger Federer in 2017, and the first to do so in at least six matches since Rafael Nadal in 2007.

The 19-year-old entered the final with the confidence of a man who reached the final in all three of his 2023 events, including his Buenos Aires title and his eventual Indian Wells triumph. His crystal-clear thinking on the court helped him end Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak in emphatic fashion.

“I have no doubts about my shots,” he said. “I feel really comfortable on court. I really trust in every shot that I hit.

“Of course, that’s why I’m playing a great level, because if I miss, I don’t mind. I don’t care about the miss. I’m just trying to hit 100 per cent in every shot and having no doubts about the shot.”

Alcaraz reached the semi-finals last year in Indian Wells, falling in a three-set classic against countryman Nadal. Asked how he has improved since then, Alcaraz pointed to his poise rather than his game.

“I think my tennis didn’t improve so much since last year,” he explained. “What I improved a lot is to [not] take the pressure, just to play relaxed. That’s for me the most important thing. That’s why I show a great level, because I feel like I have no pressure. I enjoy. I’m playing relaxed. I would say I improved that a lot, and that’s why I’m playing a good level.”

While Alcaraz made it look easy on the court, he showed his human side by revealing that he did feel nerves.

“I try to show that [I’m relaxed], but honestly, I was nervous,” he admitted. “But this is something that I talk [about] with my team, to show the opponent that I’m relaxed, that I’m enjoying the final.

“But of course it’s normal to have nerves and you have to handle that. All the best players in the world in that moment, they handle the nerves really, really well and play such a great level. That’s what I try to do.”

He finished his answer with a smile: “But I was nervous.”

Next up for Alcaraz is a bid to defend his Miami title on the opposite coast of the United States. He will need to retain his South Florida crown to remain atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings following the year’s second ATP Masters 1000 event.

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