After bee delay, Carlos Alcaraz reaches Indian Wells semis

League: Tennis

Posted on: 15 Mar, 2024 at 05:14 AM

Credit: Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Second-seeded Carlos Alcaraz survived an insect infestation to advance to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday in Indian Wells, Calif.

Despite a 1-hour, 48-minute delay caused by a bee swarm, the reigning champion Spaniard routed sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1.

Bees attacked Alcaraz early in the first set, and he had to use his racket to defend himself.

"It was strange. I've never seen something like that on a tennis court," Alcaraz said. "When we ran out of the court, we were watching the bee invasion on the TV and we laughed a lot about it. It was funny for me. It's going to be remembered for that, not for the tennis."

Tournament officials summoned Lance Davis from Killer Bee Live Removal in nearby Palm Desert, Calif., to remove the pests, and play eventually resumed.

Alcaraz finished his victory in 1:29, never facing a break point and converting four of his five break opportunities.

"I'm really, really happy with the level that I'm playing," Alcaraz said. "The way I'm using the court, I think, is really important for me, for my game. The opponent doesn't know what's going to come next. Probably I'm going to return inside the court, in the deep parts. It's kind of confusing for them. That's my style, that's my game."

Next up for Alcaraz is a semifinal against third-seeded Jannik Sinner. The Italian defeated 32nd-seeded Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3.

"I am just happy because I made the semifinals last year, and this year I have a chance to play in the semis again," Sinner said. "It is one of the greatest tournaments that we have in the whole year, so I am really happy and pleased."

The other semifinal will feature 17th-seeded Tommy Paul of the United States, who got past ninth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

"I am really pumped with how I am playing," Paul said. "I like how I am playing on the pressure points, on the big points. I am excited for another match."

Paul's semifinal foe will be fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who downed seventh-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark 7-5, 6-4.

--Field Level Media