Carlos Alcaraz ends Jannik Sinner's winning streak, reaches Indian Wells final

Carlos Alcaraz will play for his second Indian Wells title on Sunday

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz ends Jannik Sinner's winning streak, reaches Indian Wells final
© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz will compete in his second Indian Wells final. The young Spaniard met the ATP Race leader Jannik Sinner in a mouth-watering semi-final, recovering after the opening set and earning a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory in two hours and five minutes.

The rivals left the court after three games due to rain, returning three hours later. Alcaraz took charge after the opening set, dominating the remaining two and delivering Sinner's first loss of the season. Thus, the Spaniard will remain world no.

2 after Indian Wells, as the Italian could have passed him with a win. Two rivals sprayed over 60 unforced errors. Carlos tamed his strokes more efficiently, staying on 24 unforced mistakes and overpowering his great rival from the baseline.

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

Jannik made a reliable start before losing ground, spraying too many forehand errors and ending his run in the semi-final.

Alcaraz claimed four points more than Sinner, defending two out of four break points and clinching three breaks from six opportunities. Jannik had more service winners, building a slim advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes.

However, Carlos took charge in the mid-range exchanges between five to eight strokes, earning the win in that segment. Sinner clinched the first game of the duel with an ace and reached deuce on the return in the second game after Alcaraz's double fault.

The Spaniard stayed focused and held after the Italian's loose backhand, leveling the score at 1-1. Jannik landed a powerful serve in the third game for three game points and seized the first with another service winner for a 2-1 lead before the rain stopped the action.

They were back on the court three hours later, and Alcaraz lost the rhythm. Carlos missed a backhand in the fourth game, offering Jannik two break points. Alcaraz hit a double fault on the first, losing serve and falling 3-1 behind.

The defending champion created a break chance in game five with an excellent defense, and Sinner denied it after the rival's wayward forehand. The Italian wrapped up the game with a backhand crosscourt winner, cementing the break and opening a 4-1 advantage.

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

Carlos Alcaraz delivered Jannik Sinner's first loss in 2024.

Jannik created break chances in game six with a forehand drive-volley winner and converted the first with a forehand winner, moving 5-1 in front and serving for the opener.

Jannik earned set points with a service winner and converted the second after Carlos' forehand error, taking the opener 6-1 after 36 minutes. Alcaraz held after deuce at the beginning of the second set, and Sinner responded with a powerful serve in game two for 1-1.

Carlos landed a winner at the net in the third game, producing a fine hold and moving 2-1 in front. Jannik netted a forehand in the fourth game, offering Carlos two break points. World no. 2 attacked on the first and landed a volley winner at the net for his first break of serve and a 3-1 advantage.

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

Alcaraz fired a service winner in the fifth game, cementing the lead and setting into a fine rhythm. They served well in the next two games before Sinner fired a forehand return winner at 2-4, creating a break chance.

He missed it with a loose backhand and fell 5-2 behind after Alcaraz's forehand crosscourt winner. Jannik prolonged the set with a hold at 30 in game eight before Carlos served for the set at 5-3. Sinner drew Alcaraz's mistake and created a break chance, eager to extend the set and erase the deficit.

The Spaniard saved it with a cracking backhand down the line winner and earned a set point after the Italian's backhand error. Alcaraz landed a drop shot winner, wrapping up the set 6-3 and forcing a decider after an hour and 22 minutes.

The Spaniard produced four comfortable holds in the final set, and his rival failed to follow that pace. Jannik held after deuce in the opening game before Carlos added a hold at love after a service winner for 1-1. Sinner squandered a game point in game two and faced two break points.

Alcaraz seized the second after a couple of incredible volleys at the net, sending his rival to the ground and moving closer to the finish line. Carlos forced Jannik's mistake in the fourth game, holding at 15 and opening a 3-1 gap.

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

Spraying one mistake after another, Sinner netted a forehand in the fifth game and faced two break points. His forehand landed wild on the second, allowing Alcaraz to extend the gap and move closer to a place in the final.

The Italian played more wayward groundstrokes in the sixth game, with the Spaniard holding at love and moving 5-1 in front. Sinner served to stay in the match in game eight and held at 30 to extend the battle. However, he could not do much on the return, as Carlos held at 30 at 5-3 with a forehand winner, booking a place in his first ATP final since Cincinnati last summer.

Carlos Alcaraz Jannik Sinner Indian Wells