The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz returns to the Masters 1,000 in Indian Wells, where just a year ago the Murcian appeared as a tennis giant taking his first steps. His first rival in 2023 in the Californian desert will be Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, ATP number 94, who on Thursday beat American Brandon Holt 6-4, 6-1.
Alcaraz, current number 2 in the ATP ranking, appears in the US tournament, where in 2022 he fell in the semifinals against Rafa Nadal, as the first seed due to the loss of the Serbian Novak Djokovic, absent for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus. In the event that the 19-year-old Spaniard lifts the title, he will return to the top spot in world tennis.
On paper, Carlitos will not have to face one of the great favourites, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, until a hypothetical final and as long as the Spaniard is able to come out on top of all the previous qualifiers.
To begin with, he has his first stumbling block in Kokkinakis, a rival that Alcaraz has never faced before. The match, corresponding to the second round of Indian Wells 2023, will be played this Saturday, March 11, at a time yet to be confirmed.
It should be remembered that in Indian Wells there are two sessions. The daytime session matches take place at 7:00 p.m. in Spain (10:00 a.m. in California), while the evening matches take place no earlier than 1:30 a.m. in Spain (4:30 p.m. local time). The matches can be seen live on television through Movistar.
In the event of Alcaraz's victory, in the third round the winner of the duel Guido Pella and Tallon Griekspoor would await. And ahead, players like Pablo Carreño, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz or Holger Rune could be measured.
It remains to be seen how the Spanish has recovered from his physical problems. This season, after winning the Argentina Open, Carlos Alcaraz suffered a hamstring injury in his right leg during the ATP final in Rio de Janeiro, where he was defeated by Cameron Norrie, the same tennis player he had beaten on Argentine soil. The Murcian now reappears after not being able to participate in the Acapulco Tournament.
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