Tennis-Alcaraz, Sinner reach Indian Wells quarters

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 12:03 AM

By Rory Carroll

(Reuters) – Carlos Alcaraz beat Fabian Marozsan to avenge his loss to the Hungarian at the Italian Open last year, while Jannik Sinner won his 18th straight match as both players cruised into the Indian Wells quarter-finals with straight-sets victories on Tuesday.

Alcaraz never looked in any trouble against Marozsan, pounding forehands and confidently holding serve to take another step towards defending his title in the California desert with a 6-3 6-3 win.

A crosscourt forehand on match point sealed the victory for the second-seeded Spaniard, who nodded to his team and yelled “Vamos”.

Marozsan was a qualifier when he stunned Alcaraz in straight sets in Rome last May but the world number two turned the tables under sunny skies on centre court with a clinical performance.

“Honestly I was nervous before the match, I’m not going to lie,” Alcaraz said.

“Playing against someone who beat you easily — I remember I had no chances in the match in Rome. It was difficult for me today to approach the match, but I’m really happy with the way that I did.

“I started pretty well, playing my style since the beginning. Today I knew what I had to do better than I did in Rome.”

Alcaraz continues to gain momentum at the tournament and since dropping the first set in the first match he played, he has not lost one since. The victory was his 50th match win at a Masters 1000 event.

The two-time Grand Slam winner is on course for a possible collision with Australian Open champion Sinner in the semi-finals but will first need to get past Alexander Zverev.

The big-serving German sixth seed wore down Australian Alex de Minaur with his relentless power to claim a 5-7 6-2 6-3 victory.

Sinner shaded a tight first set against American Ben Shelton in windy conditions and met with little resistance in the second, securing a 7-6(4) 6-1 win to maintain his perfect record in 2024.

“I just tried to stay positive,” Sinner said.

“There were tough moments, especially in the first set, and I’m really happy that I won that and started really positive in the second set, which gave me a lot of confidence.”

Third seed Sinner will be the favourite when he faces Jiri Lehecka for the first time in the quarters.

Lehecka, seeded 32nd, backed up his upset of fifth seed Andrey Rublev with another over 11th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dominant 6-2 6-4 win to reach his first ever quarter-final at a Masters 1000 event.

The 22-year-old Czech piled up 25 winners against the Greek player and has not dropped serve in his last two matches.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles,; Editing by Toby Davis, Peter Rutherford)