Indian Wells D11 wrap: Alcaraz escapes Sinner to reach final

IN A match that lived up to all expectations, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz held onto his world number two position and snapped his third ranked counterpart Jannik Sinner‘s 19-game winning streak – including a 16-0 start to 2024 – in a come-from-behind Indian Wells semi-final win.

Alcaraz had no answers for the impenetrable Sinner early, only winning one game in the first set as the red-hot Italian looked certain to extend his winning streak to 20. But the Spaniard found a way back into the contest, and with Sinner injuring his wrist mid-match, the world number two proved too strong jumping to a 1-6 6-3 6-2 victory.

The win also ensured Alcaraz levelled his head-to-head with his fellow young gun at four wins apiece and keep hot on the tail of world number one, Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz said it was as much mental toughness as it was physical to get the victory.

“I stayed strong mentally,” Alcaraz said post-match. “I think that’s a really important part in this game. You have to be strong mentally if you want to overcome these kind of matches, a set down against someone that’s playing an unbelievable game. I’m really happy with the things that I’ve done after that.

“I changed my style a little bit, I changed my game a little bit and I think it worked very well. I’m really happy to beat Jannik and be in the final again.”

Alcaraz won 70 per cent of his first serve points off a 65 per cent clip, as Sinner dropped off towards the end of the match, winning just 65 per cent of his when he normally up above 80. Luckily the Italian did shade the Spaniard in second serve points (54 to 52 per cent).

Both of Sinner’s break point conversions came in the first set, while Alcaraz was able to break his opponent three times over the next two sets, and finished with just four more total points won (75-71) in the match.

Now Alcaraz takes on Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells final after the Russian also came back from a 1-6 deficit against American Tommy Paul. The 17th seed looked on fire early, and was just a few points away from winning in straight sets, but a badly rolled ankle came at an inopportune time, with Medvedev capitalising to take out the second set in a tiebreaker.

From there the Russian found his groove and strolled to victory in a match that lasted two hours and 24 minutes, 1-6 7-6 6-2. Both players broke five times in the match, and Paul actually won more points on both serve and return, but Medvedev won the most important ones to secure his spot in the final.


[2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [3] Jannik Sinner (ITA) 1-6 6-3 6-2
[4] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated [17] Tommy Paul (USA) 1-6 7-6 6-2

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