Carlos Alcaraz survives bee invasion and eases past Alexander Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz will meet Jannik Sinner in the semi-final

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz survives bee invasion and eases past Alexander Zverev
© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz will compete in his third consecutive Indian Wells semi-final following a routine 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Alexander Zverev in an hour and 29 minutes. The rivals had to leave the court already in the third game of the match due to a bee invasion, as the insects spread all over the court and the spidercam.

Some 45 minutes later, beekeeper Lance Davis calmly vacuumed bees off the spidercam, and two players continued the duel almost two hours after leaving the court. World no. 2 had the upper hand, playing well on serve and return and leaving the 6th seed miles behind.

Alcaraz beat Zverev for the fourth time in nine encounters, never facing a break point and stealing the German's serve four times.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Thus, the Spaniard set the anticipated semi-final clash against world no.

3 Jannik Sinner. Carlos outplayed Alexander from the baseline, hitting 17 winners and 13 unforced errors and leaving his opponent on a pale 9-26 ratio. Alcaraz controlled the shortest, mid-range and most extended exchanges, sealing the deal in style and moving into his eighth Masters 1000 semi-final, the first since Cincinnati last year.

Carlos held at 15 in the first game of the match before Alexander leveled the score at 1-1 with a smash winner after deuce. The Spaniard grabbed the first point of the third game before the bees attacked Stadium 1, sending everyone off the court.

Almost two hours later, the rivals resumed the battle, and Alcaraz held love with a service winner for 2-1. Zverev squandered two game points in the fourth game after basic errors and sprayed another, offering Alcaraz a break chance.

The German closed a terrible game with a double fault, sending world no. 2 3-1 in front. Carlos produced another fine hold in the fifth game, landing a volley winner at the net and opening a 4-1 advantage. Zverev held at 30 in game six and reached deuce on the return in the next one with a backhand down the line winner.

Alcaraz stayed focused and closed the game with a powerful forehand that pushed him 5-2 in front. Alexander prolonged the battle with a hold after deuce in game eight, leaving Carlos to serve for the set at 5-3.

Beekeeper Lance Davis, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz scored a commanding win over Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells.

The Spaniard created three set points with a forced error and seized the first with a service winner, wrapping up the opener 6-3 after 52 minutes.

Alexander sprayed a couple of game points at the beginning of the second set and offered Carlos a break chance after a loose forehand. Alcaraz forced Zverev's mistake and secured an early break. Alcaraz cemented the lead with a serve & volley combo in the second game and made another push on the return in the next one.

Alexander wasted a game point after Carlos' forehand down the line winner, and the Spaniard seized a break point for a 3-0 lead, extending his streak. Alcaraz forced Zverev's mistake in the fourth game, holding at 15 and opening a 4-0 gap.

The German held at love in the fifth game, reducing the deficit and hoping for some chances on the return. Instead, Carlos held at love in game six, moving 5-1 up and a game away from the finish line. Alcaraz forced Zverev's mistake in the seventh game for three match points, seizing the second after a lucky net cord return winner and securing a place in the semi-final.

It was their second duel of the season, with Alexander beating Carlos in the Australian Open quarter-final. The German earned a 6-1, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 triumph, dominating sets one and two and recovering his game after a massive setback in the third set.

Carlos faded from the court right after stepping on it, trailing 6-1, 6-3, 5-2 before bouncing back, stealing the third set before falling in the fourth, ending his run in the quarter-final.

Alexander Zverev, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Zverev served at 85% and played better behind the first and second serve.

The German tamed his strokes nicely and moved over the top after delivering seven breaks from ten opportunities. Alexander made a flying start, barely losing a point behind the initial shot and delivering breaks in games two and six for 6-1 in 29 minutes!

Carlos recovered his game in the early stages of the second set, delivering three fine holds for a 3-2 advantage. Zverev faced the first issue behind the initial shot in the sixth game, denying two break points and holding with a service winner for 3-3.

The more experienced player gained a boost and claimed back-to-back breaks in games seven and nine for a 6-1, 6-3 lead after an hour and 11 minutes! Alexander served well early in the fourth set and grabbed a break in the fourth game, moving 5-2 up and closer to the finish line.

Alcaraz prolonged the action with a backhand winner in game eight and clinched his first break 3-5 with a volley winner, extending the battle in the last moment! They served well in the remaining games and introduced a tie break.

Zverev led 2-0 before Alcaraz took charge, rattling off seven points to claim the breaker in style and prolong the encounter despite being on the verge of defeat. They traded breaks at the beginning of the fourth set before Carlos held at 15 three times in a row for a 4-3 lead, hoping for a complete comeback.

Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alexander squandered a 40-0 lead in the eighth game before holding after deuces, leveling the score at 4-4 and keeping the pressure on the other side.

The young gun sprayed a backhand error in the ninth game and offered his rival two break chances. Zverev converted the first, delivering a crucial break and opening a 5-4 advantage. The German served for the win in game ten and did not repeat a mistake from the third set, landing a service winner on a match point to seal the deal and secure a place in the semi-final.

Carlos Alcaraz Alexander Zverev Jannik Sinner