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Indian Wells: Alcaraz makes winning start to boost hopes of reaching No. 1 ranking

Indian Wells (USA), March 12 (IANS) After missing nearly two weeks of action as he recovered from a right hamstring injury, World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz made a winning return to the court, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-3 in the Indian Wells Masters to enter the third round.

Red hot from the start, Alcaraz dropped just one point on serve in the opening set and broke in his first return game as he raced to a 3-0 lead. Set two was tighter, with Kokkinakis effective in fighting power with power for stretches, but Alcaraz’s speed, defence and consistency were too much to overcome after another early break.

“I would say I played my best, apart from everything: the points that I have to defend, the semi-finals that I have to defend,” the 19-year-old said. “I tried not to think about that, just to play my game, to enjoy playing here. Of course, I tried to make people enjoy watching tennis here…That’s what I liked from tonight.”

Alcaraz will next play 31st-seed Dutch player Tallon Griekspoor, who defeated Guido Pella 7-6(3), 7-6(4) earlier on Saturday.

The Spaniard could return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on March 20 by winning the Indian Wells title, which would be his third at the ATP Masters 1000 level after his triumphs in Madrid and Miami last year.



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