For the second straight year, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev met for the BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells—and for the second straight year, Alcaraz came away with the trophy.

It was a tighter scoreline than last year’s 6-3, 6-2 decision, but Alcaraz still did it in straight sets, bouncing back from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Russian, 7-6 (5), 6-1, for the championship.

“Winning this tournament means a lot to me,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “The week before it began I had a lot of doubts about my ankle—I remember my first practice here, it was just 30 minutes with no movement, and probably the first practice with tennis players, really good tennis players, it was really tough for me because I was not playing my best. I was not feeling well with my ankle.

“But once I stepped on the court for my first round I started to feel better, and as I said after every match I was feeling better and better, and I’m really, really happy to be able to win this tournament again.”

With the victory, Alcaraz managed to pull off a few things:

He’s the first man to successfully defend an Indian Wells title in eight years. The last man to conquer tennis paradise in back-to-back years was Novak Djokovic, who actually did it in back-to-back-to-back years, winning three straight in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

He’s the second man ever to win five Masters 1000 titles before turning 21. The 20-year-old Spaniard joins countryman Rafael Nadal on that very exclusive list—Nadal actually won nine before turning 21.

It was his first title since Wimbledon. Since capturing his second Grand Slam title last July, Alcaraz had done very well—a final in Cincinnati and four more semifinals, including at the US Open and ATP Finals—but now, in the desert, he’s back in the winner’s circle.

Alcaraz took out three of the Top 6 players in the world—No. 6 Zverev, No. 3 Sinner and No. 4 Medvedev—in the last three rounds for the title.

Alcaraz took out three of the Top 6 players in the world—No. 6 Zverev, No. 3 Sinner and No. 4 Medvedev—in the last three rounds for the title.


After defeating No. 6-ranked Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals and snapping No. 3-ranked Jannik Sinner’s 19-match winning streak in the semifinals, things looked dicey for Alcaraz early on in Sunday’s final, as Medvedev—the world No. 4—jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

But Alcaraz got the break back right away to get the first set back on serve, and the two eventually held all the way to the tie-break, where Alcaraz would close out the grueling 69-minute opening frame.

Then, the floodgates opened—the Spaniard flew out to a 3-0 lead in the second set and never looked back for the straight-set victory.

Alcaraz finished the match with three more unforced errors than Medvedev, 26 to 23, but more than twice as many winners, 24 to 11. The Spaniard’s forehand alone produced 19 of his 24 winners.

And so, Alcaraz collects his fifth Masters 1000 title, adding to his triumphs at Miami and Madrid in 2022 and Indian Wells and Madrid in 2023. It’s the 13th overall tour-level title of his young career.