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Alcaraz defends Indian Wells title, Swiatek also wins for second time

Heading into the BNP Paribas Open, Carlos Alcaraz was coming off a sprained ankle that forced him to retire from his first match at last month’s Rio Open. Moreover, the 20-year-old had not won a tournament since Wimbledon last summer and had not even advanced to a final since the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Nonetheless, a return trip to Tennis Paradise proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the 2023 Indian Wells champion.

Alcaraz successfully defended his title title by defeating Daniil Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-1 on Sunday. The Spaniard survived a thrilling first set and then raced away with the second set to triumph after one hour and 42 minutes.

Medvedev, who was runner-up to Alcaraz last year in the desert, seized a quick 3-0 lead in the first set. However, the Russian won only four more games in the entire rest of the match.

“Winning this tournament means a lot to me because the week before it began, I had a lot of doubts about my ankle,” Alcaraz explained. “I remember my first practice here was just 30 minutes with no movement and probably the first practice with really good tennis players was really tough for me, because I thought I was not going to play my best.

“I was not feeling well with my ankle, so (there were) a lot of doubts for me. But once I stepped on the court (in) the first round, I started to feel better.”

On the women’s side, there were never any doubts about Iga Swiatek. The world No. 1 was a sizable favorite before the fortnight even began and she had no trouble delivering. Swiatek capped off a dominant run to the trophy by beating Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 earlier in the afternoon.

Like Alcaraz, Swiatek also captured a second title in Indian Wells.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.