Carlos Alcaraz's dominant performance against Jannik Sinner in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells caught the eye of tennis legend Billie Jean King.
Alcaraz reached his maiden Indian Wells final after defeating Sinner 7-6(4), 6-3. The 19-year-old made history as only the third player to make multiple finals at the Sunshine Double (BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open) as a teenager after Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic.
Carlos Alcaraz will take on Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Indian Wells Masters. Should he win the encounter, the Spaniard will retake the World No.1 ranking from Novak Djokovic.
American tennis legend Billie Jean King was highly appreciative of Carlos Alcaraz's commanding win over Jannik Sinner. She applauded the former World No. 1, describing him as a tennis genius and a "gift to our sport." She expressed her gratitude for being able to witness his exceptional talent in real-time.
"[Carlos Alcaraz] is a genius at playing tennis, and I feel fortunate to be alive to see it. He is a gift to our sport," King tweeted.
Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev display mutual respect ahead of Indian Wells final
Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev both shared words of appreciation for each other ahead of their clash in the Indian Wells final. In his post-match press conference, Alcaraz commented on the negligible margin for error he will have in his match against the Russian.
"Tomorrow I would say gonna be a really tactic match against Daniil. Is gonna be really tough. I have to make, let's say, everything perfect. That's all I'm gonna think tomorrow," the Spaniard said.
He also likened Medvedev to a "wall" due to his exceptional defensive and returning skills.
"He's a wall. He returns every ball, impossible shots. I talk with my team that the returns are almost, you know, in the corner of the court and still winning the points," Alcaraz said.
Daniil Medvedev was very complimentary when speaking of the 19-year-old as well. He commented on the extraordinary rate of improvement shown by the 2022 US Open champion over the course of a single year.
"Carlos, when he was there at like 17, I was, like, Wow, this guy, he's strong, but you never know, sometimes guy hits strong and then makes a lot of unforced. Let's see how he does. Then in one year he's No. 1 in the world. There are matches where he doesn't miss much, hitting just stronger than his opponents," Medvedev said.
The 27-year-old even brought up the possibility of Alcaraz breaking the Grand Slam record in the future.
So he has amazing skills," said Medvedev. "The question is, we know that he knows how to use them. Then the question comes, does he win 10 Grand Slams, 5, or 23 and maybe he beats the record."
Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz have only faced each other on one previous occasion at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, which saw the Russian win in straight sets.