Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner downed Emil Ruusuvuori to secure his berth in the Miami Open semi-finals along with bringing up his 20th win of the season on Wednesday.

Sinner, who dropped only one point on first serve, won 6-3 6-1 over the Finn in one hour and 16 minutes.

The 21-year-old Italian will face either top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz or 2022 Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz in the last four. Sinner lost to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semi-finals a fortnight ago.

Alcaraz and Fritz's Miami quarter-final was postponed to Thursday with persistent rain forcing the evening session in Miami to be cancelled.

The other quarter-finals between 14th seed Karen Khachanov and 25th seed Francisco Cerundolo along with fourth seed Daniil Medvedev and qualifier Christophr Eubanks were also re-scheduled for Thursday.

The Sinner-Ruusuvuori clash was also impacted by a two-hour rain delay, but the Italian prevailed to maintain his perfect record in Miami, having not dropped a set.

"We both played well today but I won the important points," Sinner said. "It's never easy when you are up and you get interrupted, but I came back and played well."

Sinner's run to the Miami semi-finals has seen him drop the fewest games (23) since Rafael Nadal (21) and Novak Djokovic (23) in 2014.

The Italian became the seventh male to reach the semi-finals at both Indian Wells and Miami in a single year before turning 22, joining an elite list in Andre Agassi (1990), Jim Courier (1991), Djokovic (2007), Andy Murray (2007 and 2009), Nadal (2008) and Alcaraz (2022).

Sinner's 2023 record is now 20-4, bettered only by Medvedev (26-3) and Cameron Norrie (21-5).

Carlos Alcaraz does not disagree with Novak Djokovic's assertion of being the best player in the world, as the Spaniard outlined his hope of facing the 22-time major winner at full fitness.

Alcaraz has played Djokovic once before, overcoming the Serbian en route to triumphing at last year's Madrid Open.

The teenager's success in Madrid marked his fifth tour-level title, and his second at an ATP 1000 event.

Earlier in March, Alcaraz claimed his third ATP 1000 title with victory at the Indian Wells Open, seeing the 19-year-old leapfrog Djokovic – who has been unable to compete in the United States due to his COVID-19 vaccination status – back to the top of the world rankings.

Djokovic claimed in interview with The National in February that he was still the best player in the world when at 100 per cent fitness.

Alcaraz, for his part, shares that view.

"Well, it is tough one, but, I have to play against Novak when he's at 100 per cent," Alcaraz told reporters after beating Tommy Paul at the Miami Open, where he is defending champion.

"I would say in Madrid he played really, really well. So it was close. But I agree with him. When he's 100 per cent, probably the best player in the world.

"What Novak has achieved, the level of Novak for example in Australia was unbelievable, really high.

"So as I said before, I really want to play against Novak when he's 100 per cent and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it. That's all I can say right now."

Alcaraz remains on course for the Sunshine Double – winning both the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open in the same season.

"I try not to think about that but it's difficult," he said. "You know, it's something that I really want. I want to be part of the few players that won the Sunshine Double.

"So for me, would be great to achieve that, but it's something that I try not think about and try to think about day by day, match by match, and that's all. 

"But of course it could be great to be part of that group of few players."

Eleven players, including Djokovic – on four occasions – have won the Sunshine Double, with WTA number one Iga Swiatek the latest to achieve the feat last season.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was bundled out of the Miami Open in straight sets during Tuesday's fourth round by 2022 US Open semi-finalist Karen Khachanov.

The Russian 14th seed prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 over Tsitsipas in one hour and 34 minutes, powering 25 winners and making only nine unforced errors, compared to the Greek's 14.

Khachanov's triumph ended a winless 0-6 head-to-head record against Tsitsipas, while it also snapped his own 23-match losing streak against top-10 opponents.

The Russian, who also made this year's Australian Open semi-finals, has qualified for four of his six tour-level events this year.

Khachanov will take on 25th seed Francisco Cerundolo in the quarter-finals, with the Argentinian fighting back to get past Lorenzo Sonego 3-6 6-3 6-2 in just over two hours.

Defending champion and top seed Carlos Alcaraz had less trouble against Tommy Paul, cruising into the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Alcaraz won the winners' count 24-9, setting up a quarter-final clash with ninth seed Taylor Fritz, as the Spanish 19-year-old chases a rare Sunshine Double, having won last week's Indian Wells Open.

Fritz progressed after getting past seventh seed Holger Rune 6-3 6-4 in 86 minutes, sending down eight aces and 22 winners for the match.

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev played late into the evening after a lengthy rain delay in Miami, but made light work of Quinten Halys 6-4 6-2, triumphing just past 1:30am local time.

Medvedev, who is into his third straight Miami quarter-final, will face American qualifier Christopher Eubanks in the last eight after he got past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) in another rain-delayed contest.

Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner knocked off sixth seed Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-4, advancing to face Emil Ruusuvuori after he beat Botic van de Zandschulp 4-6 6-4 7-5.

Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on a possible return at next month's Monte Carlo Masters after revealing he is still unsure when he will be ready to make his comeback.

The 22-time grand slam champion has been struggling with a left hip issue that contributed to his second-round exit at the Australian Open in January.

Nadal pulled out of hard-court contests at the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open as he continued to recover from the problem.

Speaking two weeks ago, Monte Carlo Masters director David Massey said Nadal was the first player to register for this year's Masters 1000 event, which begins on April 8.

The tournament's official Twitter account more recently suggested Nadal will "definitely" take part.

However, Nadal – who has slipped out of the world's top 10 men's tennis rankings for the first time in almost 18 years – denied that is the case.

"I don't know who gets this information," he is quoted as saying by Spanish publication Marca.

"Obviously if it were true, I would confirm it, but unfortunately I can't. I'm following my course and I don't know when I'll play again, that's the truth.

"I'm in a phase of increasing work. If I knew when I was going to return, I would say so, but I don't know.

"I can't confirm that I will play in Monte Carlo. Things are seen day by day. I prefer to say things when I really know them."

The Monte Carlo Masters kicks off the clay-court season ahead of events in Madrid and Rome, with the French Open – Nadal's favourite event – now just two months away.

Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Masters a record 11 times, though his most recent triumph came in 2018 with victory over Kei Nishikori in the final. 

Three of the top seeds in the Miami Open field were eliminated on Monday as Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz and Frances Tiafoe were all sent packing.

Fifth seed Auger-Aliassime was taken out 6-2 7-5 in one of the biggest wins of Francisco Cerundolo's career, with the Argentine avenging recent losses to the Canadian at both the Australian Open and the Indian Wells Open.

Adrian Mannarino's 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-0) victory over eighth seed Hurkacz was arguably an even bigger upset, as it snapped his streak of nine consecutive losses against top-10 opponents at Masters 1000 events.

The 34-year-old Frenchman absorbed 20 aces from Hurkacz and still came out on top, limiting his own unforced errors to 13 for the match.

A third upset of the day saw unseeded Italian Lorenzo Sonego play a near faultless match to eliminate 12th seed Tiafoe, finishing the contest with 22 winners and only two unforced errors, while not facing a single break point in the brief 68-minute battle.

There was no drama for Daniil Medvedev as the fourth seed received a walkover against Alex Molcan, and he will face France's Quentin Halys in the fourth round after his 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 triumph over Mackenzie McDonald.

Two seed Stefanos Tsitsipas almost joined the long list of seeded victims, but he prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-4 against Christian Garin in the day's only three-setter.

The Greek star will meet Russian 14th seed Karen Khachanov in the fourth round after his comfortable 6-2 6-4 result over Jiri Lehecka, while unseeded American Christopher Eubanks finished the day's play with a 6-3 7-6 (9-7) defeat of Gregoire Barrere.

World number one Carlos Alcaraz wasted no time in advancing to the Miami Open third round with a straight-sets win over Facundo Bagnis in just 64 minutes, while 13th seed Alexander Zverev suffered an early exit on Friday.

Reigning US Open champion Alcaraz eased past Bagnis 6-0 6-2, firing 12 winners and three aces for the match, committing only 11 unforced errors.

The Spaniard won the first set in 24 minutes, marking the first time he has won an opening frame 6-0 at an ATP Masters 100 event. It was also the first bagel he has dished out since beating Bagnis in Umag last year.

"I knew that I needed to be focused for my first match," Alcaraz said after his win, having triumphed in Indian Wells last week. "To start a new tournament is never easy, different conditions.

"I have to be ready to get used to these new conditions, but I was really focused on the match from the beginning, and I'm happy with the way that I played. I try to improve every day."

Alcaraz will face Dusan Lajovic after he beat 30th seed Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-6 (7-2), having knocked off Andy Murray in the first round.

Zverev was the highest seed to bow out on Friday, going down 6-0 6-4 to Japan's Taro Daniel, who beat world number four Casper Ruud last month in Acapulco.

Daniel triumphed in 73 minutes against the German, hitting 17 winners and committing only two unforced errors for the match, while Zverev gave up 18.

The Japanese wild card will meet Emil Ruusuvuori in the third round after the Finn beat 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to open up that section of the draw.

Third seed Ruud also had few problems getting past Ilya Ivashka 6-2 6-3 to set up a clash with Botic van de Zandschulp after his three-set win over Alexei Popyrin.

Sixth seed Andrey Rublev overcame J.J. Wolf 7-6 (7-3) 6-4, having been broken in the opening game of what was a tight contest.

Jannik Sinner beat Laslo Djere 6-4 6-2, marking his 16th win out of 20 appearances at the Sunshine Double (Indian Wells and Miami), with only three other players – Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz and Hubert Hurkacz – having as many wins within their first 20 matches.

Ninth seed Taylor Fritz defeated fellow American Emilio Nava 6-4 6-1, and will face Denis Shapovalov in round three after he beat Guido Pella 6-3 3-6 6-3.

American 16th seed Tommy Paul came from a set down to beat Marc-Andrea Huesler 5-7 6-3 6-4, while seventh seed Holger Rune beat Martin Fucsovics 6-3 7-5.

Richard Gasquet will get a showcase match against second-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round of the Miami Open after prevailing 6-4 3-6 6-1 against Christopher O'Connell on Thursday.

The biggest names in the field learned their opponents after the 32 seeded entrant received byes into the second round of the Masters 1000 event, and Tsitsipas will be desperate to avoid a third consecutive loss after quick exits at the Rotterdam Open and Indian Wells Open in recent weeks.

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev is waiting for Roberto Carbellas Baena after he blew away Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-0 3-0 (retired) in an all-Spanish showdown, while fifth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime will meet Brazil's Thiago Monteiro in the second round after his 6-4 7-6 (8-6) triumph over Australia's Jason Kubler.

After O'Connell and Kubler both fell, Thanasi Kokkinakis flew the flag for Australia with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7) comeback against Belgian wildcard Zizou Bergs, and his reward will be a battle against Polish eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

France's Gregoire Barrere earned a big matchup against 11th seed Cameron Norrie after eliminating Roman Safiullin 6-4 3-6 6-3, and Safiullin's Russian compatriot Pavel Kotov will join him on an early flight home after going down 6-2 6-2 against recent Chile Open finalist Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Andy Murray believes Carlos Alcaraz can be a dominant figure in tennis "for as long as he wants" but cautioned against expecting him to challenge the grand slam records of the Big Three.

Roger Federer's haul of 20 slam titles has been overtaken by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who both have 22 majors, but those three are streets ahead of every other men's singles player in history.

Next on the list is Pete Sampras with 14 slams, which was itself a total that many once fancied would not be beaten for decades.

Murray was for a time part of a Big Four, until he got left behind by the relentless winning of his three great rivals. Federer has retired, but Djokovic and Nadal may yet have more slam titles in them.

At the age of 19, Alcaraz is already off the mark, winning the US Open last year, and he has jumped back to world number one after winning the Indian Wells Open on Sunday.

Djokovic and Nadal will be big threats to Alcaraz's hopes of triumphing at the French Open, but the young Spaniard is no longer simply the coming player on the ATP. He has arrived, and Murray is convinced Alcaraz is the real deal and poised to stay at the top of the sport for years to come.

"He has an excellent game, an all-around game that I think will translate well onto all surfaces," Murray said.

"He's not the biggest guy, but he can serve big. He's an unbelievable mover, great athlete. Has a lot of variety in his game. Takes the ball on a lot. That's something that you hope that he keeps.

"I know from experience that it's a bit easier playing that way when you're sort of 18, 19, and there's not any scar tissue there. I hope that he maintains that style of play because it's exciting to watch."

The prediction that Alcaraz can be an all-court player, and therefore succeed on grass as well as the hard and clay courts where he has already found success, bodes well for his prospects of stacking up slams.

Murray might have faced Alcaraz in round three at the Miami Open this fortnight, but the veteran Briton, a three-time slam winner and former number one, lost his opener on Wednesday to Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

There have only been two matches on tour between Alcaraz and Murray to date, both coming in the 2021 season when they won one each.

Alcaraz is the defending champion in Miami, and a clear favourite after crushing Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells title match. He brings a 14-1 record for the year into the tournament.

"He's obviously so far in his young career doing better than most of the guys that have come in the last eight to 10 years," Murray said.

"I know a lot of people are expecting everyone to win 20-plus grand slams now, like that's sort of normal. I wouldn't predict that for anyone.

"I would imagine he would be right at the top of the game for, well, as long as he wants to play."

Two-time Miami Open champion Andy Murray has been eliminated in the first round of this year's event after a shock 6-4 7-5 loss to world number 76 Dusan Lajovic on Wednesday.

Murray, ranked 53rd in the world, could not find his usual return with Lajovic winning 72 per cent of second-serve points, prevailing in one hour and 38 minutes.

The Serbian claimed only his fourth win out of 16 matches on hard courts since the start of last year, holding his nerve after failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, converting his third match point in the 12th game.

Lajovic hit 21-14 winners, with Murray committing more unforced errors (15-13). The Serbian converted all three break points he generated.

Former world number six Gael Monfils was forced to retire due to a right wrist injury in his clash with French compatriot Ugo Humbert at 3-3.

Monfils, 36, was playing at only his third event since returning to the ATP Tour following seven months out due to injury.

Argentina's Facundo Bagnis defeated Brazilian qualifier Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3 1-6 6-4, with his reward a second-round clash with last week's Indian Wells Open winner and top seed Carlos Alcaraz.

World number 50 J.J. Wolf beat world number 48 Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-3 in 79 minutes, earning a second-round clash with sixth seed Andrey Rublev.

World number 74 Martin Fucsovics sent down nine aces as he beat Argentina's Pedro Cachin 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in 107 minutes. Fucsovics will next face seventh seed Holger Rune.

Ilya Ivashka beat Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-1 to book a second-round clash with third seed Casper Ruud, while Fabio Fognini bowed out, losing 6-4 5-7 6-4 to Jan-Lennard Struff. USA's Brandon Nakashima powered to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Germany's Oscar Otte.

Novak Djokovic does not regret his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite losing the world number one ranking.

Djokovic has spent a record 380 weeks at the top of the rankings but was unable to compete in the first two ATP 1000 events of the season – the Indian Wells Open and the Miami Open – after his request for special permission to travel to the United States was declined.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entering the country, although that policy is set to be scrapped in May. 

With the 22-time grand slam champion unable to feature, Carlos Alcaraz returned to the top of the rankings with victory at Indian Wells.

"I have no regrets," Djokovic told CNN.

"It's a pity that I wasn't able to play in Indian Wells [and] Miami. I love those tournaments. I had plenty of success there. But at the same time, it is the conscious decision I made and I knew that there was always a possibility that I wouldn't go. 

"It is the current state or current situation that I hope will change later this year for the US Open. That is the most important tournament for me on American soil.

"I've learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past and I don't want to do that. 

"I also don't want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment, but of course, think about the future and create a better future."

Alcaraz, who won the US Open in 2022, romped to last week's title at Indian Wells with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 victory against Daniil Medvedev in the final.

"I congratulate Alcaraz," Djokovic said. "He absolutely deserves to come back to number one."

Djokovic's attention will now turn to the clay season in Europe as he gears up to try and win a third French Open title.

"I'm as enthusiastic as ever, as motivated as ever for the sport, my family, my foundation, all the projects and everything I'm doing off the court," he added.

"The dignity, and integrity, and staying true to myself, and my beliefs and my rights are above everything."

Jack Draper has pulled out of the Miami Open due to an abdominal injury that forced him to retire from his match against Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells.

The Briton suffered a tear to his oblique muscle during his fourth round encounter with the Spaniard, forcing him to bring the match to a premature end in the second set.

While Alcaraz went on to win the tournament and reclaim his position as world number one, Draper is now set for a spell on the sidelines.

The 21-year-old has decided to withdraw from Miami, in order to focus on making a full recovery rather than risk aggravating the issue.

The world number 43 struggled for fitness during the 2021 season, but played 22 events last year and reached the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open.

Alcaraz won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami last year by beating Casper Ruud in the final. 

After being awarded a bye into the second round, he will face either Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier and could take on Andy Murray in round three as he eyes a Sunshine Double.

 

New world number one Carlos Alcaraz says he played "perfect" in Sunday's final demolition of Daniil Medvedev to cap a "perfect tournament" as he lifted the Indian Wells title for the first time.

Despite Medvedev coming into Sunday's decider on a 19-match winning streak, Alcaraz dominated 6-3 6-2 to win in 72 minutes.

Alcaraz's Indian Wells triumph was his third ATP Masters 1000 crown from three finals, not dropping a set in any of those deciders.

The 19-year-old Spaniard went through the Indian Wells Open without dropping a set and reflected that it was a "perfect" fortnight for him.

"It feels amazing to lift the trophy here [and] to recover the number one," Alcaraz told reporters, having reclaimed the top rank from Novak Djokovic due to his victory.

"It has been the perfect tournament. It was a goal for me, this tournament that I really wanted to win. For me, it's amazing."

The lopsided nature of Alcaraz's victory over Medvedev in the final caught many by surprise, hitting 19-4 winners against the in-form fifth seed.

"Honestly I didn’t expect that," Alcaraz said. "I expected a tough match but I played perfect. I said before against Daniil you have to play your best and tactically at your best level as well. I did perfect today. That's why it looks easy but it wasn’t."

Alcaraz added he was delighted to reclaim the number one rank which he had lost after Djokovic won the 2023 Australian Open which he missed due to injury.

Djokovic was unable to participate at Indian Wells due to being unvaccinated for COVID-19, with the pair actually not facing off at any events this year.

Alcaraz returned from abdominal and hamstring injuries last month at the Argentina Open and Rio Open before competing at Indian Wells, while Djokovic was in action at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The next opportunity for the pair to face off as at April's Monte Carlo Masters.

"Novak is one of the best players in the world," Alcaraz said. "That's obvious. I always say, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I really wanted to play against Novak again. We miss him on tour and hopefully to have him back very, very soon."

Alcaraz added: "It feels great to be back on the number one. Of course, every player on the ATP wants to be the number one. For me, it's a dream come true again. Obviously being in front of such great players like Novak, the top player, it's an amazing feeling."

Despite Djokovic being unable to compete at Indian Wells, Medvedev said he felt Alcaraz's return to the top rank was a true number one.

"One hundred per cent," Medvedev said. "It's unfortunate Novak can't play all the tournaments. If you get injured, Rafa is injured for some time, we cannot say if Rafa isn’t injured he would be number one, because we cannot know. Same about Novak.

"For sure if he was able to play last year and this year all the tournaments there is a possibility that the rankings would be different but Carlos is deservedly number one, he won more points than everybody else in the last 52 weeks and he was also year-end number one last year."

New world number one Carlos Alcaraz says he played "perfect" in Sunday's final demolition of Daniil Medvedev to cap a "perfect tournament" as he lifted the Indian Wells title for the first time.

Despite Medvedev coming into Sunday's decider on a 19-match winning streak, Alcaraz dominated 6-3 6-2 to win in 72 minutes.

Alcaraz's Indian Wells triumph was his third ATP Masters 1000 crown from three finals, not dropping a set in any of those deciders.

The 19-year-old Spaniard went through the Indian Wells Open without dropping a set and reflected that it was a "perfect" fortnight for him.

"It feels amazing to lift the trophy here [and] to recover the number one," Alcaraz told reporters, having reclaimed the top rank from Novak Djokovic due to his victory.

"It has been the perfect tournament. It was a goal for me, this tournament that I really wanted to win. For me, it's amazing."

The lopsided nature of Alcaraz's victory over Medvedev in the final caught many by surprise, hitting 19-4 winners against the in-form fifth seed.

"Honestly I didn’t expect that," Alcaraz said. "I expected a tough match but I played perfect. I said before against Daniil you have to play your best and tactically at your best level as well. I did perfect today. That's why it looks easy but it wasn’t."

Alcaraz added he was delighted to reclaim the number one rank which he had lost after Djokovic won the 2023 Australian Open which he missed due to injury.

Djokovic was unable to participate at Indian Wells due to being unvaccinated for COVID-19, with the pair actually not facing off at any events this year.

Alcaraz returned from abdominal and hamstring injuries last month at the Argentina Open and Rio Open before competing at Indian Wells, while Djokovic was in action at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The next opportunity for the pair to face off as at April's Monte Carlo Masters.

"Novak is one of the best players in the world," Alcaraz said. "That's obvious. I always say, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I really wanted to play against Novak again. We miss him on tour and hopefully to have him back very, very soon."

Alcaraz added: "It feels great to be back on the number one. Of course, every player on the ATP wants to be the number one. For me, it's a dream come true again. Obviously being in front of such great players like Novak, the top player, it's an amazing feeling."

Despite Djokovic being unable to compete at Indian Wells, Medvedev said he felt Alcaraz's return to the top rank was a true number one.

"One hundred per cent," Medvedev said. "It's unfortunate Novak can't play all the tournaments. If you get injured, Rafa is injured for some time, we cannot say if Rafa isn’t injured he would be number one, because we cannot know. Same about Novak.

"For sure if he was able to play last year and this year all the tournaments there is a possibility that the rankings would be different but Carlos is deservedly number one, he won more points than everybody else in the last 52 weeks and he was also year-end number one last year."

Daniil Medvedev joked about a love-hate relationship with the Indian Wells Open court and his failure to create an entertaining final after his heavy defeat to Carlos Alcaraz.

Medvedev's winning streak was halted at 19 matches by the sensational Alcaraz, who claimed his third Masters 1000 title in style on Sunday.

Alcaraz won 6-3 6-2 in just 72 minutes to return to the summit of the ATP rankings, with Novak Djokovic having been unable to feature in the United States due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Medvedev had won three titles in a row – at the Rotterdam Open, Qatar Open and Dubai Tennis Championships, where he beat Djokovic – ahead of competing at Indian Wells, yet proved no match for the imperious Alcaraz, who he had beaten in their only previous meeting, at Wimbledon in 2021.

The Russian had to overcome several hurdles to reach the final, having rolled his ankle in his fourth-round win over Alexander Zverev while he also hurt his thumb in a quarter-final defeat of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Yet despite the trials and tribulations, and his humbling loss in the final, Medvedev was in good spirits.

"I had a pretty toxic relationship here with the courts, a love-hate relationship," Medvedev chuckled. "So I'd like to thank the court!

"I only played on this court. I gave it a hard time so it gave me a hard time also. Rolled the ankle, the thumb... but it gave me the chance to finish the tournament.

"Thanks a lot to this court, I'll definitely be back.

"I really love this tournament, I'll be happy to come back many more years to come and hopefully I can start to love this court and Indian Wells together."

Addressing the crowd, Medvedev quipped: "Sorry I didn't make this final entertaining. I tried, I don't like to lose, but today was unfortunately pretty easy. I hope you still enjoyed it."

Alcaraz is one of only three players to hold a 100 per cent record in multiple ATP Masters 1000 finals, having now won in the finals of the Miami Open, Indian Wells Open and Madrid Open without dropping a set.

"I'd like to congratulate Carlos," said Medvedev. "You already have amazing achievements in your career and I'm sure many more to come.

"Today's one more of them, winning Indian Wells. I also dream of it – maybe next time you'll give me the chance!

"Congrats to you and your team. You're probably the most respectful player on Tour, you probably say hi to 300 people a day. I've rarely seen it!"

Alcaraz returned the plaudits, telling Medvedev he serves as an inspiration to be "better on the court and off the court".

"It has been a really amazing run here, such an amazing experience," the 19-year-old added.

When asked if he had played a near perfect match, Alcaraz told Amazon Prime: "Yes, probably. I played really, really well.

"I made no tactical mistakes, which is really important against Daniil. I would say I was perfect in that way.

"I'm really happy with the way I played, the trophy and of course to be world number one."

While Alcaraz will return to the top of the world on Monday, compatriot and idol Rafael Nadal is set to drop out of the top 10 for the first time since April 2005.

World number two Carlos Alcaraz is through to the Indian Wells Open semi-final after defeating 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4 on Thursday.

Alcaraz, 19, continued his terrific start to 2023, now boasting 12 wins from his first 13 matches of the year after winning the Argentina Open and reaching the Rio Open final.

But despite the Spaniard's status as the game's top young talent, he came into the contest winless in his three previous meetings against Canada's Auger-Aliassime.

What separated the two this time around was Alcaraz's ability to keep the ball in play. He produced 26 winners with only eight unforced errors, and while Auger-Aliassime was not much worse (24 winners, 13 unforced errors), he committed six double faults.

He is now one match away from reaching the third Masters 1000 final of his career, having won both the Miami Open and the Madrid Open this past season.

Meeting him in the semi-final will be Italy's Jannik Sinner after he prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-4 against hometown hero Taylor Fritz.

In the seesawing contest, Sinner narrowly edged the total point count 94-86 – with both committing exactly 17 unforced errors – but the Italian created nine break point chances compared to Fritz's three.

Since the beginning of the Australian Open, Sinner sports a 14-2 record, with the only losses in that span coming against world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas and world number six Daniil Medvedev.

It will be the sixth meeting between Sinner and Alcaraz, with the Spanish teen taking in a 3-2 edge after a five-set thriller at the US Open.

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