With Novak Djokovic unable to compete in the United States due to his vaccination status, this must be the best final the 2023 ATP BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells could have gotten. US Open 2021 champion takes on last year’s New York winner. Neither of them has an Indian Wells title under their belt yet. Who will clinch it on Sunday?
ATP Indian Wells Finał Prediction
Carlos Alcaraz vs Daniil Medvedev
Head-to-head: Medvedev 1-0
Carlos Alcaraz has returned from his short injury break (between November and February) in phenomenal style. The Spaniard took the title in Buenos Aires and then overplayed a bit almost going back-to-back in Rio de Janeiro, falling at the last hurdle to Cameron Norrie in a match which he almost won, despite barely moving. Getting some rest before Indian Wells allowed him to forget about these issues though and he’s been as good as new in the Californian desert. On the way to the final, the 19-year-old didn’t drop a single set, only requiring two tie-breakers.
Daniil Medvedev was never a big fan of the courts in Indian Wells, but this year he was constantly complaining about the slow and high-bouncing surface, even suggesting that the tournament fact sheet is lying when it says “hard courts.” That doesn’t mean he hasn’t produced a high level in most of his encounters, and the Russian now finds himself on a 19-match winning streak. He’s going for his 4th trophy in a row, which would be even more impressive given it’s basically in consecutive weeks (slightly easier with Indian Wells being played over almost a fortnight).
Despite being arguably the best two players in the world alongside Novak Djokovic right now, Alcaraz and Medvedev have actually played each other just once. The Russian prevailed comfortably in a lopsided but fun match at Wimbledon in 2021. The conditions are very different here and for the 19-year-old, two years almost feels like a century ago with how much he’s progressed since.
Who is the favorite on Sunday? Probably Alcaraz. The youngster is fresher and has been serving well enough to not give Medvedev too much of an advantage in that department. It’s not going to come easy though. The courts don’t suit the Russian, but he’s been finding ways to be aggressive anyway and as this is already the final, we know his motivation will be at its highest possible point anyway. So will his confidence on such an insane win streak.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports