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Carlos Alcaraz, Elena Rybakina storm to Indian Wells titles

Carlos Alcaraz, Elena Rybakina storm to Indian Wells titles
© Reuters
Elena Rybakina and Carlos Alcaraz win their maiden Indian Wells Masters crowns with victories over Aryna Sabalenka and Daniil Medvedev respectively.

Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina produced a pair of dominant displays to win their maiden Indian Wells Masters crowns in California.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina secured her first WTA 1000 title with a 7-6[11] 6-4 win over second seed Aryna Sabalenka, before Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-2.

Out for revenge after losing to Sabalenka in the final of the Australian Open, Rybakina took just over two hours to clinch a straight-sets win over the Belarusian, who had won the first four head-to-heads with the 23-year-old.

Sabalenka drew first blood with a break in the fifth game, but Rybakina responded in kind with a break back in the eighth before the most nail-biting of tie-breakers.

Rybakina squandered four opportunities to take the set, while Sabalenka missed two set points of her own, but the Kazakhstani won out - taking full advantage of a whopping 10 double faults for her opponent throughout the opener.

Sabalenka eradicated those serving errors in the second set, but Rybakina broke to love right off the bat and moved one game away from the title with another break for a 5-2 lead.

Sabalenka earned one break back to love while Rybakina was serving for the set, but the second seed's efforts just delayed the inevitable, as Sabalenka sent one final forehand into the net on Championship point.

Carlos Alcaraz poses with the trophy after winning the Indian Wells Masters on March 19, 2023© Reuters

Rybakina has now been bumped up three places to seventh in the WTA rankings, while the world number one spot in the ATP section once again belongs to Alcaraz courtesy of a ruthless display against Medvedev.

The 19-year-old took just 70 minutes to defeat his Russian counterpart, who barely had a sniff throughout the entire match as Alcaraz clinched the crown without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

The US Open champion brought up two break points in the second game of the match on a Medvedev double fault - duly converting his first - and he kept the world number five at bay to wrap up the first set in just 35 minutes.

Once again, an early double fault proved fatal for Medvedev, who was broken to love in the opening game of the second set as Alcaraz stormed into an early 4-0 lead, and there would be no spectacular comeback from the Russian.

Alcaraz came through one final nervy service game, where Medvedev sent a wild forehand long on championship point, to win his third ATP 1000 crown, having also triumphed in last year's Miami Open and Madrid Open.

The Spaniard has knocked Novak Djokovic - who could not compete in California due to his unvaccinated status - off the top of the ATP rankings, and he is just the second teenager to win three Masters titles after Rafael Nadal.

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