Carlos Alcaraz reclaims No. 1 with Indian Wells win vs. Daniil Medvedev

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Carlos Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open title and regain the world No. 1 ranking.

The 19-year-old Spaniard will move from second to first in the ATP Tour rankings on Monday, displacing Novak Djokovic. The Serb withdrew from Indian Wells before the tournament began when he couldn't gain entry to the U.S. because he's unvaccinated for COVID-19.

"For me, it's a dream come true again," Alcaraz said. "Obviously being in front of such great players like Novak, it's an amazing feeling."

"I would say this has been the perfect tournament," he said.

Last year, Alcaraz became the youngest man to reach No. 1 in ATP history after his title at the US Open.

He achieved another mark in the third round at Indian Wells. That's when Alcaraz notched his 100th career match victory, the second-quickest player behind John McEnroe to do so.

Alcaraz also became the first man to win the tournament without dropping a set since Roger Federer in 2017 and the youngest man to win the title in the desert.

"I really trust in every shot that I hit," he said. "If I miss, I don't mind."

Alcaraz hit 19 winners and had 10 unforced errors while keeping Medvedev off-balance with a steady array of serve-and-volley and drop shots. The teenager never faced a break point while opening leads of 3-0 in the first set and 4-0 in the second.

"What I improve a lot is to don't take the pressure, just to play relaxed," Alcaraz said. "That's why I show a great level, because I feel like I have no pressure. I enjoy. I'm playing relaxed."

Medvedev's 19-match winning streak ended. It went back to his title run in Rotterdam in February. He then won tournaments in Doha and Dubai.

"I want to congratulate you for the work you have done in the last few months," Alcaraz told his opponent. "Winning three titles in a row and reaching the finals here is an amazing achievement."

Alcaraz enjoyed a dream start to the matchup of first-time Indian Wells finalists as he got an early break for a 2-0 lead and dropped just six points on serve as he raced through the opening set in 36 minutes.

Alcaraz broke to love in the first game of the second set and held at love for a 2-0 advantage as a resigned Medvedev at one point in the match dropped 10 consecutive points.

The hard-hitting Alcaraz kept dragging Medvedev from corner to corner while barely breaking a sweat as he closed out a seemingly stress-free victory in 70 minutes.

"I tried. I tried. I don't like to lose, but today that was unfortunately pretty easy," Medvedev said to laughs from the crowd. "Congratulations to you, Carlos. You are the most respected player. I think you say hi to 300 people a day.

"It was a surprising week in many aspects. I have a love-hate relationship with the courts here, but I would like to thank this court. I was giving a hard time to it this week, so it gave me a hard time, too. But it gave me the chance to finish the tournament and I will definitely be back."

Alcaraz is now 14-1 in 2023 after missing the early part of the season with injuries. His only loss was to British player Cameron Norrie in the final of the Rio Open in February.

Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk was included in this report.