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Defending champ Alcaraz to meet Medvedev in Indian Wells final again

DEFENDING champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev will clash in Sunday’s final of the Indian Wells in a rematch of last year’s summit clash after both prevailed in intense three-setters on Saturday.

Mr. Alcaraz came from behind to beat Jannik Sinner 1-6 6-3 6-2 before Medvedev edged out American Tommy Paul 1-6 7-6(3) 6-2 in the second semifinal.

Australian Open champion Mr. Sinner has been the hottest player on tour this year and looked poised to run away with the match when the Spaniard’s forehand went long to end the 34-minute opening set, which was halted by a three-hour rain delay.

Mr. Alcaraz would finally break serve with a powerful forehand that set up a put-away volley for a 3-1 second set lead and hit a drop shot even the speedy Mr. Sinner did not try to race down to force a decider between the young rivals.

With Mr. Sinner serving in the third set, the Italian dove to keep a ball in play on break point near the net, his hands scraping along the gritty Indian Wells hard court.

Mr. Alcaraz’s athletic volley secured the break and Mr. Sinner appeared to be bothered by his left hand after the exchange.

Mr. Alcaraz went up a double break and 4-1 on a forehand wide by a suddenly error-prone Mr. Sinner and sealed the win with a crosscourt forehand winner to keep Mr. Sinner from taking his world number two ranking and denying him a 20th consecutive win going back to last year.

Mr. Medvedev eked out a similar comeback win against Mr. Paul, who was quick off the blocks, dropping just one game in the opening set before the Russian bounced back.

Mr. Paul was broken from 40-0 in the first game of the third set, which was pretty much a one-sided affair as Mr. Medvedev closed out the match to stay on course to avenge his loss to Mr. Alcaraz in last year’s final. — Reuters

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