Tennis-In-form Sinner reaches Indian Wells semis, Alcaraz rematch looms

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 3:16 PM

(Reuters) – Jannik Sinner continued his perfect start to the season by cruising into the Indian Wells semi-finals on Thursday, dispatching Jiri Lehecka 6-3 6-3 to improve his win-loss record this year to 16-0.

The Italian’s return to the final four in the California desert set up a possible rematch with Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz who ended his title bid at the same stage a year ago.

Alcaraz will continue the defence of his crown later on Thursday when the second seed takes on Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

A windy, cool day did little to slow down the hottest player on the men’s Tour as Sinner was in control throughout, facing a single break chance the entire contest while his opponent piled up unforced errors.

“In the morning, it was really, really windy,” Sinner said in his court-side interview. “The first set was tough to handle.

“He has huge potential so I was really aware of every point that I made and in a way I am just happy because I make the semi-finals last year and this year I have again a chance to play in the semis in one of the greatest tournaments we have throughout the whole year.”

Lehecka reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final with upset wins over fifth seed Andrey Rublev and 11th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas but had no answers for the lanky Australian Open champion.

The third seed quickly had his Czech opponent under pressure by collecting the first break in the third game with a massive forehand winner before closing out the set with a second break.

It was much the same business-like approach in the second as Sinner again claimed the early break to get 3-1 ahead and he held serve on the way to a 19th straight win including three from the end of last season.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)