Misc Tennis

Indian Wells Open takeaways — and Miami Open storylines

Indian Wells Open takeaways -- and Miami Open storylines

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz are each halfway to achieving the 2024 Sunshine Double.

On Sunday, in front of a star-studded crowd that included Zendaya, Tom Holland and Charlize Theron, Swiatek defeated Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 in just 68 minutes to claim her second Indian Wells title. Shortly after, Alcaraz successfully defended his Indian Wells crown with a comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (5), 6-1, for his first title since winning Wimbledon in July.

It was an impressive showing in the California desert for both players, who continue to be two of the brightest young superstars in the sport.

Swiatek, 22, leads the WTA Tour with a 20-2 record on the season, and lost just 21 total games during her six matches at Indian Wells. The win furthered her hold on the world No. 1 ranking. And because she was unable to play in Miami last year due to a rib injury, she has no points to defend in Miami, and will likely only extend that lead more over the next two weeks. Swiatek won the Sunshine Double in 2022 — and seems more than capable of repeating the feat.

Alcaraz, 20, had a challenging start to his season, losing in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and then suffering an ankle injury in Rio last month. But after falling into a 3-0 deficit against Medvedev on Sunday, Alcaraz fought back and became the first man to defend his title in Indian Wells since Novak Djokovic in 2016. Alcaraz remains world No. 2 and brings a new surge of momentum with him to Miami, where he reached the semifinals in 2023.

The 1000-level Miami Open gets underway on Tuesday at Hard Rock Stadium — home of the Miami Dolphins — with 96 players in each of the singles draws and 32 doubles teams. Petra Kvitova, who is pregnant and sidelined from competition, and Medvedev are the defending champions. The tournament began on a sad note due to the death of Aryna Sabalenka’s boyfriend, Konstantin Koltsov, on Monday. Sabalenka is still expected to play.

Here’s what we learned from Indian Wells — and what it all means for Miami.

Back to the drawing board for Djokovic

There was a lot of attention on Djokovic entering Indian Wells. He was playing there for the first time in five years, and in his first tournament since losing to Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open semifinals. While Djokovic seemed to have some fun while on…

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