Alcaraz, Swaitek & Gauff Through To Semi Finals At Indian Wells

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz was able to beat Alexander Zverev on Thursday to set up a semi-final matchup with Jannik Sinner at Indian Wells. The win came in straight sets, 6-3 6-1, as the 20-year old dominated his opponent from start to finish. 

At one point, the court was swarmed by bees, resulting in the world number two Alcaraz getting stung on the forehead and temporarily forced from the court. The invasion of bees occurred just two games into the match but Alcaraz was able to get treatment and come back to finish.

Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) hits a shot as he defeated Alexander Zverev (GER)

Sinner was also able to pull off a straight straight victory in his quarter final against the Czech Jiri Lehecka 6-3 6-3. He has now won 19 matches in a row, the longest win streak of his career. The streak stretches all the way back to last year’s Davis Cup finals, making him a perfect 16-0 in 2024.

The semi final between Alcaraz and Sinner will be highly anticipated, with both players looking to top form. Since Djokovic had an early exit, the winner of the match will be the favourite to win the title regardless who their opponent is in the Final. Alcaraz beat Sinner at the same stage in last year’s edition of Indian Wells.

In the last quarter final fourth-ranked Daniil Medvedev, who came runner-up to Alcaraz last year, takes on number seven Holger Rune. The winner of that match will play American Tommy Paul, who came back against Casper Ruud to win 6-2 1-6 6-3 in his quarter final.

In the Women’s Singles draw, world no 1 Iga Swaitek reached the semi finals after Caroline Wozniacki retired with a foot injury. The injury occurred early in the second set in their quarter-final, after Swaitek had already taken the first set.

It should be noted that Wozniacki started strongly and got  all the way to 4-1 in the first set before Swaitek stormed back to win, 6-4. In the second set Wozniacki didn’t look like her normal self, struggling before ultimately retiring hurt when the score was 4-1. 

The 33-year old had just returned to the circuit last year after taking a three-year break to start a family. The injury to her right foot will likely set her back as she attempts to get back to her old form.

With the walkover, the 2022 champion will now face Marta Kostyuk in the semi-finals after the Ukrainian defeated Anastasia Potapova 6-0 7-5. Swaitek came into the tournament as the favourite and was expected to breeze her way into the final.

Third seeded American Coco Gauff just got through her quarter final as well, despite a messy performance. She had 17 double faults but still managed to beat China’s Yuan Yue 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells for the first time. The win came a day after her 20th birthday and required a gutsy fight back, after Gauff had fallen down 3-1 in the second set. 

Gauff will meet fellow American Emma Navarro or ninth seed Maria Sakkari in the semis. Earlier in the tournament, world number two Aryna Sabalenka fell to a surprise defeat by Emma Navarro in the fourth round. Sabalenka, who successfully defended her Australian Open title in January, lost 6-3 3-6 6-2 to the 23rd seed. Navarro will be looking to get past Sakkari and book a match with Gauff in the semis.

Gauff has clearly shown she has the talent to play with the very best in the world but unforced errors have been her downfall. If she can lower the number of mistakes going into the semis and possibly the final, she should stand a good chance to take her first Indian Wells championship.

Currently, defending champions Alcaraz and Swaitek look like they are in the great position to repeat this year. Both players have looked in good form, dominating their opponents and playing some of their best tennis this year. Expect some great semi finals though as both players will clash against players capable of causing an upset.