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The 2023 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, is soon coming to an end, but not before a finals matchup between No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 5 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday night.
Medvedev, ranked No. 6 in the world, defeated American Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Saturday in the semifinals to clinch a berth in the BNP Paribas Open final. Alcaraz, ranked No. 2 in the world, earned his berth in the finals via a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over No. 11 Jannik Sinner on Saturday.
Let’s take a look at the final schedule and a deeper dive into Alcaraz vs. Medvedev.
Men’s Final Schedule
No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No. 5 Daniil Medvedev
Sunday, March 19, at 7 p.m. ET
Medvedev’s Run to the Final
Medvedev enters Sunday’s final scorching hot with 19 consecutive wins dating back to a Feb. 13 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 32 at the Rotterdam Open. He has won the Rotterdam Open, Qatar Open and Dubai Open in that span.
The 27-year-old has put together an impressive run in the California desert, posting wins over Brandon Nakashima, Ilya Ivashka, No. 12 Alexander Zverev and No. 23 Fokina before dropping No. 14 Tiafoe on Saturday.
Tiafoe put up a good fight against Medvedev, saving seven match-point attempts and breaking his serve twice late in the match before the Russian won it with an ace.
Medvedev finished the match with more than double the number of winners than unforced errors, 30 to 12, and posted nine aces to Tiafoe’s three. Additionally, he won 80 percent (35 of 44) of his first-serve points and 65 percent (20 of 31) of his second-serve points.
Medvedev is now one win away from tying the longest winning streak of his career. He previously won 20 consecutive matches from 2020 to 2021. His streak came to an end with a loss to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 Australian Open final.
Sunday’s match will mark Medvedev’s seventh Masters 1000 final. He has gone 4-2 in his first six.
Alcaraz’s Run to the Final
Alcaraz comes into Sunday’s final having rattled off five straight wins following a loss to Cameron Norrie in the Rio Open final on Feb. 20. He has also won 18 of his last 21 matches dating back to an Oct. 24 win over Jack Draper in the Swiss Indoors Basel.
The 19-year-old has been impressive at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis, Tallon Griekspoor, Draper, No. 8 Felix Auger Aliassime and No. 11 Sinner en route to a berth in the final.
Sinner put up a good fight in the opening set, managing to force a tiebreak. However, Alcaraz turned up the heat in the tiebreak and scored the final three points to claim the first set.
Alcaraz continued his dominance in the second set, going up a break and holding serve to finish out the match fairly quickly.
The Spaniard won 73 percent (38 of 52) of his first-serve points and 45 percent (nine of 20) of his second-serve points in Saturday’s match against Sinner. He also posted five aces.
If Alcaraz defeats Medvedev on Sunday, he’ll reclaim the world No. 1 ranking from Djokovic, who withdrew from Indian Wells after not being granted an exception to enter the United States as he’s unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Additionally, Alcaraz would become the youngest man to win the three biggest tournaments in the United States, having won the Miami Open in April 2022 and the U.S. Open in September 2022.
Alcaraz is also seeking to win his third ATP 1000 Masters title.
Prediction: Daniil Medvedev defeats Carlos Alcaraz
Medvedev and Alcaraz have met just once before, matching up in the round of 64 at Wimbledon in 2021. Medvedev dominated that match, defeating Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
However, their prior meetings don’t have much to do with this prediction, especially because Alcaraz was pretty inexperienced at the time they last met.
The biggest things that factor into this prediction include Medvedev’s consistency over the last month and his experience level. Medvedev turned pro in 2014 and has logged far more match time than Alcaraz, who turned pro in 2018.
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