Two players who are destined to become great rivals over the coming years, have advanced at this year’s Indian Wells Masters and now meet in the semi-finals in the hope of becoming the latest champion of the event on Sunday.
Today, the goal was to stay there. I knew that I was going to have my chances. Try to take it. Probably I played one of my best matches this season, in 2023. I’m really happy Carlos Alcaraz
The 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz will face Jannik Sinner, 21, the former having beaten Felix Auger Aliassime 6-4 6-4 for his first win over the Canadian while the latter ended Taylor Fritz’s reign as champion 4-6 6-4 6-4.
Carlos the top seed was delighted with his victory, especially as it involved breaking the Auger Aliassime serve for the first time in their four meetings!
It was the evening match and the Spaniard’s speed and power proved too much for his challenger whom he broke mid-way though the first set which he followed up early in the second.
The Canadian, seeded eighth for the event, recovered that break but couldn’t prevent the Alcaraz steam roller from advancing to the next stage of the draw after two hours of tennis.
“This is the first time I broke his serve and I’m really proud of that,” said Alcaraz who, in his previous matches with the Canadian, hadn’t converted one of the 11 break points he had held.
“I tried to attack the second serve, tried to dominate the points, tried to play from the baseline and tried to be aggressive, taking the opportunity when he is serving the second serve.”
Alcaraz is now two wins from returning to the No.1 spot in the world rankings.
“Today, the goal was to stay there,” Alcaraz said. “I knew that I was going to have my chances. Try to take it. Probably I played one of my best matches this season, in 2023. I’m really happy.
“I’m really happy to play against him again. Great battles,” Alcaraz said of Sinner who had earlier in the day, claimed his place in the last four.
“I enjoy the matches against him. I would say it’s going to be a really good match, for the fans as well, to watch that match. And for myself as well. I will try to show my best, to show my 100%. Jannik is playing great. I’m going to enjoy that match.”
It will be their fifth meeting with both players recording two wins over their rival.
“It means a lot, obviously,” Sinner said on court following his quarter final win. “Playing against Taylor is never easy. Especially because he won here last year. I knew the match was going to be tough.
“We both play quite similar. For both of us the service games were very important, then the wind came a little bit. It was tough, I changed the little bit the position of the return, and obviously I’m very happy with how I ended the match.”
In what were windy conditions, the young Italian had the advantage over the American in the longer rallies but played a loose game to concede the second set and then recovered his momentum in the decider breaking at 4-4 and then serving out after two-hours and 17-minutes.
“I’d say the two games that I got broken in the third, I just didn’t really feel like I could do much in the points,” Fritz said following his defeat. “I had to just kind of like hope that he’d get a miss, just because of how strong the wind was in my face.
“I thought when I was against the wind doing that and I couldn’t really hurt him, he was doing a really good job on the side with the wind of just attacking me and not giving me free points.”
For Sinner his meeting with Alcaraz will be the 15th semi-final of his career but only his second at Master 1000 level.
Both semi-finals will be played early on Saturday with Daniil Medvedev facing Frances Tiafoe in the bottom half of the draw.