Alcaraz and Medvedev focus on Indian Wells’ first title chance

Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev won’t be distracted by streaks, stats or even the lure of world No. 1 as they battle for the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000 crown on Sunday.

Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard who became the youngest-ever number one after his US Open triumph last year, can replace Novak Djokovic and return to the top with a third Masters 1000 title.

Medvedev, meanwhile, is on a 19-game ATP winning streak that has seen him win three titles in three weeks in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.

Now in contention for the title in a two-week event, Medvedev is the first player since Andy Murray in 2016 to reach four finals in five weeks.

For both, a first title in Indian Wells is the goal that occupies them.

“I know if I win tomorrow I’ll be number one,” said Alcaraz. “I’ll try not to think about it, just think about the things I have to do.

“I have to do everything perfectly. That’s all I’ll think about tomorrow.”

Likewise, Medvedev will not focus on any historical aspect of his series – only on prolonging it.

“When you’re doing well and then hearing some of those stats it’s just great, but at the same time I know it comes with wins,” he said. “The most important thing is to try to win this tournament and win these games.”

Medvedev overcame a late-match speed bump in a 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) semifinal win over Frances Tiafoe, needing eight match points to knock out the 16th-placed American.

Alcaraz won a tense first set and then went on to win 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 over Italy’s Jannik Sinner.

Both Medvedev and Alcaraz said their only previous meeting – Medvedev’s second-round win at Wimbledon in 2021 – was not a benchmark for this final.

“He was definitely not the same player as he is now,” said Medvedev. “So in a way it’s going to be like a first match between us in terms of how we’re going to go about it tactically, physically or tennis-wise.

“It will be great fun to play against him.”

Alcaraz added: “If I’m not wrong he was world number two when I played him, I just started playing on the tour.

“It’s very different at the moment. I think it will be a completely different game.”

bb/js Alcaraz and Medvedev focus on Indian Wells’ first title chance

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