In a stunning display of admiration and sportsmanship1Daniil Medvedev was full of praise for his upcoming Indian Wells final opponent, Carlos Alcaraz.
Despite his own impressive 19-match winning streak and the possibility of claiming his fourth consecutive title, Medvedev acknowledged the formidable challenge that the 19-year-old Alcaraz brings to the table.
Alcaraz secured his spot in the Indian Wells final after an impressive victory over 11th seed Jannik Sinner, while Medvedev triumphed over 14th seed Frances Tiafoe to set up the highly-anticipated clash. The Russian tennis ace couldn't help but express his astonishment at the young Spaniard's rapid ascent to the top of the tennis world.
"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."
During his post-match press conference, Medvedev reflected on Alcaraz's meteoric rise, stating that his consistency, power, and ability to outmatch his opponents are truly astonishing. He went on to recall Alcaraz's victories over tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on clay at just 18 years old, which further solidified the Spaniard's position as the next big thing.
"That's like surprising or amusing to see, because, well, you're like, If this guy is on fire, what can you do? I remember Madrid I didn't watch the matches but when he beat Rafa and Novak back to back on clay, that's amazing at 18 years old. So he has amazing skills."
Medvedev candidly pondered the future success of Alcaraz, questioning whether the young phenom would go on to win 10, 5, or perhaps even 23 Grand Slam titles, potentially surpassing the current record.
"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."
"It's going to be enjoyable to see and enjoyable to play against him. That's why, if he's the winner, I'm gonna be, yeah, it's going to be great to play him, especially I'm feeling confident now. I think surface is better for him, but I'm gonna try my best to show my best tennis and hopefully have a great final."