Carlos Alcaraz aims high in Indian Wells

Without Nadal or Djokovic, the Spaniard aspires to lift the first Masters 1,000 of the season and recover the number one in the world


The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz debuts this Saturday in the Indian Wells tournament, the first Masters 1,000 of the season, against the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, with the high ambition of fighting for the Californian event and recovering the number one in the world.

“Winning Indian Wells and returning to number one is a good goal,” said the Murcian in his first appearance, with a picture that does not look bad for him to serve his sentence. The current number two in the world keeps his feet on the ground above all because he needs to adapt to a hard track that he has not set foot on since Paris-Bercy.

Alcaraz has been going through the most delicate moment in terms of injuries in his young but meteoric career, since the abdominal injury he suffered in that last Masters 1,000 in 2022. The mishap made him miss the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup, although it was more painful if it is possible to fall from the Australian Open.

Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil traced his preseason without problems until a muscle injury at the gates of the start of 2023. In Melbourne, with Novak Djokovic’s title, the Murcian lost the world number one in favor of the Serbian and has already reappeared in the South American tour on land, in Buenos Aires.

The return was triumphant, yes, with the title in the Argentine capital and a run that took him to the final in Rio de Janeiro a week later. However, in Brazil, another hamstring setback prevented him from challenging for the title although he arrives in Indian Wells fully recovered and aiming high.

The Murcian was clear with his objective but confessed that he does not see himself as a favorite in a tournament without Djokovic, absent due to not being vaccinated against the coronavirus, or Rafa Nadal, injured since the second round of the Australian Open. However, Alcaraz starts on pole in the pools, with an affordable path as the first seed and after avoiding Daniil Medvedev on his side.

The current US Open champion, in search of the sixth title of his career and the third of the Master 1,000 after Miami and Madrid last year, has favorable rounds to find rhythm before demanding matches that could be Andy Murray or Pablo Carreño, Felix Auger -Aliassime or Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz or Holger Rune, and a hypothetical final with Medvedev or Stéfanos Tsitsipas.


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