Carlos Alcaraz Defeats Daniil Medvedev to Successfully Defend Indian Wells Title

Carlos Alcaraz is celebrating a special repeat..

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player, who arrived at Indian Wells full of doubt about his twisted right ankle, has left a two two-time champion.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (5), 6-1 for the second straight year in the men’s final on Sunday, earning his first title since winning Wimbledon last year.

Alcaraz sprained his ankle at the Rio Open in late February. His first practice at Indian Wells lasted 30 minutes without any movement. His first practice with his fellow pros “was really tough for me,” he said in a Tennis Channel interview.

Alcaraz outlasted Jannik Sinner in a three-set semifinal after needing three sets to get out of his second-round match.

“After every match I was feeling better,” Alcaraz said. “I was getting more confident after every match. Winning a Master 1000 again, a really important tournament to win, gives you motivation to keep going.”

Alcaraz became the first man to defend his Indian Wells title since Novak Djokovic won three in a row from 2014 to 2016. He beat Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 last year in the Southern California desert.

“It’s definitely your court, you like it here,” Medvedev told Alcaraz during the victory ceremony. “Hopefully you can one day let me play a little bit better here.”

Medvedev led 3-0 in the first set while Alcaraz had eight unforced errors over those games. The Spaniard won three games in a row to tie it 3-3.

The players held serve the rest of the set, with Alcaraz serving a love game to get into the tiebreaker. He led 3-0 and 5-2 before Medvedev tied it 5-5. Alcaraz won the next two points to close it out.

Alcaraz got the only two breaks in the second set, when Medvedev had one winner and nine errors.

For the match, Alcaraz hit 25 winners and had 26 unforced errors, while Medvedev had 11 winners and 23 unforced errors.

Alcaraz is the second player to win five or more ATP Masters 1000 titles before their 21st birthday since the series began in 1990. The other is Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz earned $1.1 million for his win. That’s less than the $1.26 million the men’s champion received in 2023. This year more prize money was allocated to the earlier rounds, reducing the champions’ prize money by nearly 13%.

Rafael Nadal to Play in “6 Kings Slam” Exhibition Event in Saudi Arabia

Rafael Nadal is headed to the Middle East this fall.

The 37-year-old Spanish professional tennis player, the former World No. 1, is set to play in an exhibition event in Saudi Arabia in October, the kingdom’s latest move into tennis.

Rafael NadalNadal will be joined by Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, new Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune in what’s being touted as the “6 Kings Slam” in Riyadh.

All but Rune have won at least one Grand Slam title. Djokovic holds the men’s record with 24, followed by Nadal with 22. Alcaraz has two, and Sinner and Medvedev one apiece.

Nadal was recently announced as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation.

The ATP men’s tour moved its annual tournament for leading players who are 21 and under to Jedda, and the WTA women’s tour is in negotiations to put its season-ending championship in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has pumped huge amounts of money into sports, such as soccer, Formula One, boxing and golf, with critics accusing the country of using its Public Investment Fund to engage in sportswashing over its human rights record, including the treatment of women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The kingdom denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security through its laws.

Rafael Nadal’s 2007 French Open Tennis Racket Sells for $118K in Auction

One of Rafael Nadal‘s title-winning rackets is a hot item…

The 37-year-old Spanish professional tennis player and former World No. 1’s racket from his 2007 French Open final victory over Roger Federer was sold for more than $118,000 at an auction Monday, ranking among the highest-priced memorabilia.

Rafael NadalNadal beat Federer 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the 2007 final at Roland Garros with the Babolat AeroPro Drive racket to win his third Grand Slam title before the Spaniard moved on to secure 19 more — 14 of them in Paris– to become one of the sport’s greatest players.

The racket, which Nadal also used in previous matches at the tournament, including his semifinal victory against Novak Djokovic, sold for $118,206 at an online auction, Prestige Memorabilia‘s The Tennis Auction, that closed on Monday.

Rafael Nadal 2007 French Open Racket

It was previously housed in the Australian Tennis Museum prior to its recent closure.

Previous highest individual tennis racket auction sales include Nadal’s 2022 Australian Open racket ($139,700), Billie Jean King‘s “Battle of the Sexes” racket ($125,000) and Djokovic’s 2016 French Open racket ($107,482).

Nadal missed the recent Australian Open this month after suffering a small muscle tear during his comeback from a long injury layoff at the Brisbane International earlier in January.

He, however, is set to return on the court in February during the ATP 250 tournament in Doha.

Alex de Minaur to Face Alexander Zverev in United Cup Semifinals

Alex de Minaur is preparing for another battle at this year’s United Cup.

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian tennis player, who pulled off a major upset by beating ailing World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the mixed-gender tournament, will face Alexander Zverev in the semifinals as hosts Australia battle Germany.

Alex de Minaurde Minaur is looking to break Zverev’s dominance against him, with the Aussie holding a single win against the German Grand Slam finalist in their head-to-head record (6-1).

But de Minaur and the Aussies will enter the semis with supreme confidence, having beaten the defending champions, the United States, to win their group before knocking out Serbia in the quarterfinals, with de Minaur picking up his first win against Djokovic.

“I think he’s playing one of the best tennis of his life. Beating Novak in straight sets, that kind of always shows that you’re playing really well.” Zverev said of his upcoming opponent. “The last time we played was Rome 2022, so that’s a while back. Things have changed a little bit. I think he’s gotten a lot better, closing in on the Top 10 as well.

“Of course it’s better to have that kind of head-to-head record than the opposite, but I’m expecting a tough match. Especially here, I think he’s going to be very motivated and the whole team, Australia, is going to be very motivated — and the crowd definitely plays a factor in that. But I’m looking forward to another tough match.”

While both de Minaur and Zverev are in red-hot form, their singles counterparts have not matched their success so far at the United Cup. Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic brings a 1-2 singles record into the semis, while Germany’s Angelique Kerber is still seeking her first singles win of the event.

“Perth treated us pretty nicely,” de Minaur said. “We had a great time over there, we played some great tennis and obviously the goal was to make it to Sydney and I think we’re all very happy to be here.”

France will play Poland in the other semifinal match on Saturday.

The final is set for Sunday, at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Alex de Minaur Stuns Novak Djokovic to Help Australia Advance to Semifinals at United Cup

Alex de Minaur has pulled off a major upset…

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian tennis player used a superb defense and a dominant serve to beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the United Cup on Wednesday.

Alex de Minaur Djokovic continued to struggle with his wrist injury as Australia stunned Serbia with a 3-0 win.

Djokovic, who has had a problem with his right wrist during the tournament, found a way past Jiri Lehecka in Serbia’s previous Group E match against the Czech Republic.

But Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in the world, was clearly in discomfort against world No. 12 de Minaur and was twice treated by the physio during the first set.

It was Djokovic’s first defeat in Australia since he lost his quarterfinal at the Australian Open in 2018.

Ajla Tomljanovic followed up by giving Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead when she won 6-1, 6-1 against Natalija Stevanovic, who had stepped in for Olga DanilovicMatthew Ebden and Storm Hunter then completed the rout by combining for a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Serbian mixed doubles duo Dejana Radanovic and Nikola Ćaćić.

“It’s extra special,” de Minaur said as Australia sealed its maiden appearance in the semifinals. “Novak is an unbelievable competitor and what he’s done for the sport is pretty special. It feels surreal, amazing, and I’m very happy to do it here in Perth.

“When you go up against Novak you have to go out and enjoy it and back yourself, and no matter what keep fighting until the end. Today was my day and I’m happy that I was able to get the win.”

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Helps Lead Spain to Victory Over Brazil in United Cup Play

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has helped lead Spain to victory…

The 24-year-old Spanish tennis player and his mixed doubles partner and compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-5 in the decider of the Group A tie between the two countries on the opening day of the United Cup mixed team tournament Friday.

Alejandro Davidovich FokinaSpain beat Brazil 2-1 to start the revamped $10 million tournament that features 18 countries with ties taking place in Perth and Sydney.

Davidovich Fokina put Spain up 1-0 by defeating Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-4, 6-0 in the first match of the season, dominating his opponent from the baseline and not facing a break point throughout the contest.

But Brazil hit back through world No. 11 Haddad Maia, who downed Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (1), 6-2 in a rematch of their marathon French Open fourth-round clash earlier this year.

“To come back and play with Sara, I think we had a great time on court and we enjoyed a lot,” world No. 26 Davidovich Fokina told reporters. “We didn’t care … obviously we care, but the result was like the last thing. We were enjoying out there, just to keep improving also.”

World No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek are among the big names who will be in action in the coming days as they warm up for the opening Grand Slam of the new year, the Australian Open, which will run from January 14-28 in Melbourne.

The final is scheduled for January 7.

Rafael Nadal to Return to Competitive Play at Next Month’s Brisbane International

Rafael Nadal will be holding court in January…

The 37-year-old Spanish tennis superstar will return to competitive play at Australia’s Brisbane International in January, the 22-time Grand Slam champion revealed Friday.

Rafael Nadal“After a year of not competing, it is time to come back,” Nadal said in a video posted on social media. “It will be in Brisbane in the first week of January. See you there.”

Nadal has not played on tour since last January, when he hurt his hip flexor during a loss in the second round of the Australian Open.

In May, a little more than a week before the start of the French Open, Nadal announced that he would miss the tournament he’s won a record 14 times and wasn’t exactly sure when he might return to play.

Nadal had said then that he hoped to compete in 2024, which he expected to be his final season.

“You never know how things will turn out,” Nadal said at a news conference at the time, “but my intention is that next year will be my last year.”

He wound up having arthroscopic surgery in June in Barcelona.

Dating to the end of 2022, the Spanish left-hander has lost seven of his past nine matches, including going 1/3 this season.

Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam singles titles rank second to Novak Djokovic‘s 24 for the most among men.

Carlos Alcaraz Nominated for ATP’s Sportsmanship Award

Carlos Alcaraz is a good sport…

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player has been nominated for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the first time in his career as part of the 2023 ATP Awards.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz will face off against fellow first-time nominees in the category: Jannik Sinner, Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz.

Alcaraz was the ATP Newcomer of the Year in 2020. He was also the ATP Player of the Year and ATP Most Improved Player of 2022.

Alcarez’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, meanwhile, has been nominated for Coach of the Year.

The 43-year-old Spanish former world No. 1 tennis player and current tennis coach is nominated for helping coach Alcaraz to a 65-12 record. Alcaraz defeated four-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final, 1–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–1, 3–6, 6–4 to win the gentlemen’s singles tennis title at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships. It was his first Wimbledon title.

ATP Awards winners, including Fans’ Favorite, will be revealed during Awards week, starting December 11.

Here’s the complete list of 2023 ATP Awards nominees:

Comeback Player of the Year: The player who has overcome serious injury in re-establishing himself as one of the top players on the ATP Tour.

Dominik Koepfer
Gael Monfils
Jan-Lennard Struff
Alexander Zverev

Most Improved Player of the Year: The player who reached a significantly higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and who demonstrated an increasingly improved level of performance through the year.

Matteo Arnaldi
Christopher Eubanks
Ben Shelton
Jannik Sinner

Newcomer of the Year: The #NextGenATP player who broke into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in 2023 and made the biggest impact on the ATP Tour this season.

Flavio Cobolli
Arthur Fils
Alex Michelsen
Dominic Stricker
Luca Van Assche

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: The player who, throughout the year, conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with his fellow players with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities.

Carlos Alcaraz
Grigor Dimitrov
Hubert Hurkacz
Jannik Sinner


Coach of the Year: Nominated and voted on by fellow ATP coach members, this award goes to the ATP coach who helped guide his players to a higher level of performance during the year.

Craig Boynton (Hubert Hurkacz)
Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi (Jannik Sinner)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz)
Goran Ivanisevic (Novak Djokovic)
Bryan Shelton (Ben Shelton)

Alex de Miñaur Helps Lead Australia to Davis Cup Finals

Alex de Miñaur has helped lead Australia back to the Davis Cup final…

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian professional tennis player and Alexei Popyrin put Australia back into the Davis Cup final for a second straight year after winning their singles matches in a 2-0 victory over Finland on Friday.

Alex de MinaurPopyrin gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the semifinal match after beating Otto Virtanen 7-6 (5), 6-2. de Miñaur then finished off Finland by beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3.

Novak Djokovic‘s Serbia will face Jannik Sinner‘s Italy on Saturday in the other semifinal match on the indoor hard court at Martin Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain.

Popyrin edged Virtanen in the first set, saving a set point when trailing 6-5 and forcing a tiebreaker that he clinched when his opponent slapped a forehand long.

Virtanen was Finland’s hero in its upset of defending champion Canada on Tuesday, winning both his singles and doubles matches. But his serve let him down against Popyrin in the second set when his fifth double-fault cost him a break.

“(That was) probably the biggest win of my career so far,” Popyrin said. “To win a match that means so much for us is an honor and something I will never forget.”

de Miñaur converted five of 18 break chances against Ruusuvuori. He ended the match by landing a backhand winner on the sideline.

Australia has the second-most Davis Cup titles, with 28 to 32 for the United States, but its last success came in 2003.

Carlos Alcaraz Defeats Daniil Medvedev to Advance to Semifinals at ATP Finals

Carlos Alcaraz has advanced to his first ATP Finals semifinals…

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 on Friday to secure a spot in the semifinals of the ATP Finals in his tournament debut, setting up a match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

Carlos Alcaraz “It’s one of the most difficult challenges that I’m going to face, facing Novak in the ATP Finals, where he has won six times,” Alcaraz said. “Novak is Novak. He is the best player in the world right now. He’s lost just six matches this year. He’s unbelievable.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic have played each other four times and won two each. Djokovic won their most recent encounter in the final in Cincinnati in August, while Alcaraz was victorious in the Wimbledon final.

“I’m going to play my best tennis and enjoy it the same way I did the past few matches,” Alcaraz said. “I’m excited to face Novak.”

Alcaraz is the youngest ATP Finals semifinalist since Rafael Nadal in 2006.

After missing last year’s tournament because of an abdominal injury, Alcaraz got off to a shaky start at the season-ending event for the year’s top eight players.

He lost his opening match to two-time champion Alexander Zverev before getting back on track with a straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev.

That left him needing to beat Medvedev, who had already qualified for the semifinals, to advance. The Russian player didn’t make it easy.

Medvedev had two break points in the fourth game, but Alcaraz came out on top of a 33-shot rally and then produced another big serve before going on to hold.

In the seventh game, Alcaraz broke Medvedev to love for the lead. He then held three set points but needed only one to take the opener with a powerful, crosscourt backhand.

After wasting two break points in the third game of the second set, Alcaraz got the decisive break when Medvedev double-faulted to allow him to serve for the match.

“This match was really, really tough … but everything I did before this match I did almost perfectly so I’m really happy,” Alcaraz said.

With Alcaraz advancing, the top four players in the world have qualified for the semifinals. Medvedev will face Jannik Sinner. Since the ATP formed in 1990, it’s the fourth time the top four players all reached the semifinals at the ATP Finals, along with 1990, 2004 and 2020.