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 place.

Photo:

Cristóbal Herrera-ulashkevich. efe

«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, Alcaraz racked up an astonishing 10-match winning streak since dropping a single set to claim his first Indian Wells Masters 1000 trophy and reclaim world number one.

The Murcian needs to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’, as the double victories in Indian Wells (California) and Miami (Florida) are 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.

Photo:

Cristóbal Herrera-ulashkevich. efe

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.

English 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, to anticipate that Alcaraz dropped 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.

Photo:

Cristóbal Herrera-ulashkevich. efe

«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 reached the trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai this season, recovering the excellent moment of form with which in 2021 he canceled his only Grand Slam title (US Open) and became world number one.

SPORTS
with AFP

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