The decisive match of the Masters in Indian Wells was worthy of a Grand Slam tournament, because it brought together some of the brightest players on the ATP tour to date. Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest tennis player to become the first racket of the world, and Daniil Medvedev is the owner of a phenomenal winning streak of 19 matches. Before the trip to the United States, the Russian won trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, while giving his opponents only five sets.

Needless to say, Daniil's mood for victory in this match was prohibitive. He was not embarrassed by the too slow surface, which he resented from the first day, nor by the small injury sustained in the fourth round game with Alexander Zverev. Medvedev even joked about it that he began to play better, damaging his ankle, and the court somehow became faster by the semifinals.

In it, by the way, he dealt with Francis Tiafoe in two sets, setting another unique achievement. The Russian won all 15 matches against opponents from the United States at the tournaments of the Masters series. According to Opta, since 1990, when the ATP tour was created in its modern form, 138 players from different countries have played ten or more matches with American tennis players, and only Medvedev was not inferior to them.

Almost more motivated was Alcaraz before the final, who, if he won, returned to the first line of the world ranking. But, according to the Spaniard, this is what he needed to get out of his head and focus solely on the game. Moreover, as Carlos himself emphasized, the best tennis player in the world at the moment, had to oppose him.

"He's a wall. He hits every ball, even shots that cannot be beaten. My team and I say that he pulls almost from the corner of the court and still scores points. A great player. I always say: if you want to be the best, you need to beat the best, and I would say that Daniil is the best player today... He has an astounding winning streak. For me personally, this will be a serious test, but I am well prepared for it. Tomorrow in the final I will give my best," the tennis player said on the eve of the match.

Previously, the paths of athletes crossed only once - in the second round of Wimbledon 2021 - and then Medvedev won in three sets. But, as Daniil emphasized, a lot of water has flowed since then and Alcaraz is a completely different player today than he was two-plus years ago.

"He has great skills that are hard to compare to anyone else. His forehand is one peek. I don't think there's anyone who can hit with that kind of force, and even a top spin. Therefore, he became the youngest first racket of the world in history. That means something. Playing against him will be exciting and great," the Russian said.

And indeed, the game in Indian Wells did not resemble the first meeting of tennis players in London. This time, the initiative was completely owned by the Spaniard, who did not allow the opponent to show any of his best qualities. Medvedev was unable to pull off winning combinations as Alcaraz nipped them in the bud. He often changed the direction of his shots, no doubt went to the net and attacked at the first opportunity. The ratio of actively won goals here speaks for itself: 19-4 in favor of the Spaniard.

The Russian had only one hint of a break point in the entire game when he reached 40-40 in the eighth game of the second set. But Alcaraz was already serving for the match, and naturally did not miss his own. But Daniil lost the serve three times, and it cannot be said that he had any special problems with this element. The former first racket of the world quite consistently hit the first ball (65%), but the Spaniard managed even with the most powerful serve of the opponent to win 12 points out of 31. And with the second goal, Alcaraz celebrated a triumph on more than half of the occasions (10 of 17).

As a result, the match ended rapidly - in 1 hour and 12 minutes. With this victory, Alcaraz regained the first line of the world ranking, and Daniil stopped a step away from repeating his best winning streak, which is 20 matches. That's how much he hasn't lost at the junction of two seasons in 2020 and 2021.

"It would be cool to set a new record and maybe try to rewrite it for as long as possible. It's great to have such series. Very disappointed that it was interrupted. However, so many wins in a row gave me a lot of confidence, because last year it was such a series that I lacked. I sometimes made it to the finals, in Cincinnati I got to the semifinals, I played kind of good, but not good enough for this stage. I managed to win 19 matches in a row. I'm proud of it, but now it's time to try to put on a new winning streak. There is no other way in tennis," the Russian said at a post-match press conference.

According to the president of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev, Medvedev could not provide decent resistance to the opponent due to the fact that the final had a decline in form.

"Alcaraz is very motorized, played great and was more versatile. I successfully went to the net. Danya on such a surface could not oppose him. Alcaraz played competently in the final. Danya slightly passed the peak of his form, started the match unsuccessfully and immediately gave up the initiative, "TASS quoted the specialist as saying.

Medvedev will be able to start a new winning streak this week: he will perform at the Masters tournament in Miami.