The Indian Wells Tournament is considered the largest and most prestigious of all the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters 1000 tournaments, with some even calling for it to be made into a grandslam. The tournament, situated in Indian Wells, California, next to Palm Springs, is located in a hot and dry desert, making the conditions challenging for some players. It can get extremely windy at times and yet still reach a temperature of well over 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
The top seeds of the tournament are as follows—number one, Carlos Alcaraz. The rising star had his breakout year in 2022, winning both the Miami Open and Madrid, in which he beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, which puts him into an elite group with the likes of Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, David Nalbandian, Robin Soderling, Juan Martin Del Potro and Daniil Medvedev. His powerful game, delicate touch and physical ability, he is the favourite to win the tournament, making him worthy of the number one seed. The number two seed is the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. A player who has been hovering around the top for the past three to four years, Tsitsipas is hoping to break through this year and finally win a grand slam; however, I see this as unlikely. Tsitsipas has shown moments of brilliance, with his powerful groundstrokes he seems to be the complete package, and yet he always falls short when it matters most. Of course he has won two masters 1000 tournaments and a Nitto Finals, however, both have been suspect victories and he has not been in form recently. His chances at winning do not represent his seed. The third seed is Casper Ruud, who has gained his ranking by making both the 2022 Roland Garros Final and the 2022 US Open Final, losing both. While he made the US Open, he is a clay court specialist; however, Indian Wells is the slowest of all the hard court tournaments, making Ruud’s chances of going far a bit higher; however, Ruud doesn’t have any weapons in his game, making it hard for him to compete with the likes of Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. The fourth seed is the reigning Indian Wells champion, American Taylor Fritz. Fritz is an interesting player, not entirely sure how he has made it to the top five, but he is here. Besides winning the 2022 Indian Wells Tournament, the American has had an average 2022, and really only won last year due to Nadal having an apparent injury. The fifth seed, Medvedev, is having an incredible 2023, coming into Indian Wells winning an incredible 18 matches in a row. While the slow surface of Indian Wells won’t do him any favours, he is still one of the favourites for the tournament, which his seed does not represent.
The first round of the tournament started off with a bang, with Andy Murray outlasting Tomas Martin Etcheverry in a grueling three hour match, with the Brit coming back from a set down—6-7, 6-1, 6-4. Murray has seemingly always been on the winning side of these marathon matches recently, having won two in the recent Australian Open. Another marathon match was between Thiem and Adrian Mannarino, with the Frenchman beating the former champion in two hours and 45 minutes—4-6, 6-4, 7-6. The Austrian is currently coming back from a wrist injury and has yet to find his form, but he is showing promise. Wawrinka dispatched the Australian Aleksandar Vukic in a quick three sets—6-4, 1-6, 6-1, putting his killer backhand on display at the same time. The Swiss tennis player has worked extremely hard to come back into the top 100 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Moving on to the second round, the number one seed, Alcaraz, made short work of Thanasi Kokkinakis, beating him in a quick two sets—6-3, 6-3. The number one seed showed why he is where he is, having faced zero break points. The battle of the Brits occurred as Jack Draper defeated Daniel Evans in straight sets—6-4, 6-2. The other Brit, former champion Murray, continues his tear as he defeats Radu Albot in straight sets—6-4, 6-3. Francisco Cerundolo defeats crowd favourite Jack Sock after coming back from a set down to defeat him – 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The other two crowd favourites, reigning champion Fritz and up and coming Ben Shelton battled it out, with the reigning champion coming back from a set down to win in three—4-6, 6-4, 6-3. One of the favourites for the tournament, Sinner, cruised past Richard Gasquet in two quick sets—6-3, 7-6. Mannarino is showing his youth as he defeats youngster Lorenzo Musetti in two sets—6-4, 6-4. Wawrinka continues his rise back to the top defeating Miomir Kecmenovic in straight sets—7-6, 6-4. Ugo Humbert shocked Denis Shapovalov by defeating the Canadian in straight sets – 7-6, 6-4. Shapovalov has been declining in form for the past couple of months and this defeat is not really all that surprising. Taro Daniel also shocked Matteo Berrettini after he defeated him in three sets – 7-6, 0-6, 6-3; however the largest upset of the round occurred when Australian Jordan Thompson defeated the number two seed Tsitsipas in three gruelling sets – 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. This is a very surprising result, and while Tsitsipas wasn’t projected to win the tournament, he was expected to make it past the second round.
In the round of 32, we once again see our number one seed Alcaraz breeze through the competition, in this case Tallon Griekspoor, in straight sets—7-6, 6-2. In the second round of the battle of the brits, Draper dethrones his mentor Murray in two quick sets—7-6, 6-2. American Tommy Paul upsets Hubert Hurkacz in three sets, defeating the number nine seed in—4-6, 6-2, 6-4. A surprising result as Hurkacz was projected to go quite far in the tournament. The reigning champ continues on his path to the finals, with Fritz beating Sebastian Baez in a little over an hour—6-1, 6-2, on the other end of the spectrum, Wawrinka defeats his rival, the number seven seed
Holger Rune in three grueling sets—6-2, 6-7, 7-5. The 19-year-old has had a rocky relationship with the Swiss legend, who had a problem with the youngster’s attitude. Sinner continues to dazzle as he defeats Mannarino in straight sets—7-6, 6-4. Medvedev survives a scary challenge from Ilya Ivashka—6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Like whys, Alexander Zverev had a tussle with Emil Ruusuvuori, defeating the Finn—7-5, 1-6, 7-5. The German is coming back from a serious foot injury and is showing signs of his old dominant self. Christian Garin shocked the number three seed Ruud, beating the Norwegian in straight sets—6-4, 7-6. American Francis Tiafoe continues his tear as he defeats Jason Kubler in straight sets—6-3, 6-2.
In the round of 16, Alcaraz gets a freebie as Draper is forced to retire due to injury—6-2, 2-0. Felix Auger-Aliassime is able to defeat American Paul in three sets, coming back from a set down—3-6, 6-3, 7-6. Sinner puts an end to Wawrinka’s dreams, defeating him in a quick two sets—6-1, 6-4. Medvedev has another scare from Zverev, as the two giants clash in three long sets, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5. The 2021 Champion Cameron Norrie defeated the number six seed Andre Rublev in straight sets—6-2, 6-4. Tiafoe defeats Alejandro Tabilo in a comfortable two sets—6-4, 6-4, and his fellow countryman Fritz cruises past Martin Fuscovics in similar fashion—6-4, 6-3.
In the quarterfinals, Alcaraz dispatched Auger-Aliassime in straight sets—6-4, 6-4. The number one seed is having the tournament of his life and is yet to drop a set. Sinner battled it out with the reigning champion Fritz and defeated him in three sets—6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Sinner is also having one of the best tournaments of his career, showing why he is considered one of the favourites for the tournament. Medvedev finally was allowed a easy match, defeating Alejandro
Davidovich Fokina in a quick 6-3, 7-5. Tiafoe sent the 2021 champion Norrie packing back to England as he defeated him—6-4, 6-4.
In the semi-finals, we have the long awaited match up of Alcaraz, our number one seed, and Sinner, with Alcaraz showing his class by beating the Italian in straight sets—7-6, 6-3. Medvedev also defeated his opponent, Tiafoe, in straight sets—7-6, 7-6, which marked the end to the last American.
The final was set, the Russian wall Medvedev vs the Spanish powerhouse Alcaraz. Alacaraz had yet to drop a set the entire tournament and Medvedev was one a 21-game winning streak; however, it was about to go back down to zero, with Alcaraz killing the Russian 6-3, 6-2, showing once again why he is the best player in the world and reclaiming the number one in the world title from Djokovic.