Alcaraz to face Sinner in Indian Wells semi-finals
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to set up a semi-final meeting with Yannick Sinner at the WTA and ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells.
Alcaraz announced his first victory over the 10th-ranked Canadian in four career bouts to keep his quest to regain world number one.
“I may have played one of my best matches this season so I’m very happy,” Alcaraz said.
Italy’s Sinner advanced to the final four with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over defending champion Taylor Fritz and now has a chance to avenge his loss to Alcaraz in last year’s US Open quarter-final thriller.
This five-set battle lasted five hours and 15 minutes, finishing at 2:50 am the last in US Open history. Alcaraz lifted the trophy to become the youngest world number one in ATP ranking history.
“I’m very happy to play against him again,” Alcaraz said of the meeting with Sinner. “Great Battles”
Alcaraz fell behind Novak Djokovic in the rankings, but due to injury, the start of the 2023 season was delayed until February. The 19-year-old Spaniard won one title in Buenos Aires and reached the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Alcaraz dropped no sets to reach the quarter-finals, but Auger-Aliassime was the first top 10 player he faced this year.
This time, Alcaraz was ready for it, saying that his previous defeats to Auger-Aliassime had taught him to “stay there”.
“In previous matches, in the Davis Cup, I was close, I had chances,” said Alcaraz, who last lost to the Canadian in Basel in October.
“I remember in Basel I gave up a bit. Today my goal was to stay there. I knew that I would have my chances, (I) tried to use them.
The two-hour clash was a breathtaking display of both players’ athleticism and precision.
Alcaraz saved the first break point he faced when he bowled the first set, but after he made a break to open the second Auger-Aliassime, who saved six match points in a fourth-round win over Tommy Paul, quickly returned to setu. tone of tense battle back and forth.
Auger-Aliassime had already saved two break points in Game 10 when Alcaraz gave himself another game-winning volley.
The seven-minute game ended with Auger-Aliassime delivering a long-range left hand and a convincing serve, ending the match with another winner on the right.
“He has a great serve, a really powerful first serve,” said Alcaraz, who has never hit an Auger-Aliassime serve before. “I tried to hit on the second serve, I tried to dominate the play, I tried to play from the back line – I tried to be aggressive and take advantage of the opportunity when he serves the second serve.”