Indian Wells, March 17
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz downed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4 on Thursday to book an Indian Wells semifinals place against Jannik Sinner after the Italian knocked out defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-4.
“My goal today was to stay in it, and I played probably one of my best matches this season, so I’m really happy,” Alcaraz said.
Sinner, 21, was sharp from the outset in his match against American Fritz, riding an early service break and fending off a break point to get going. “I just tried to play quite aggressively, which I’ve done,” said Sinner, who booked his first semifinal at the Masters 1000 tournament.
In the women’s section, top-ranked Iga Swiatek breezed past Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
Swiatek, the defending champion, took a 4-0 lead in the second set and converted her second match point to close it out on Thursday.
“I’m happy that I played so intense that I could start both sets well,” Swiatek said. “I’m feeling like I’m handling things pretty well and just playing my game.”
Next up for Swiatek is No. 10 seed Elena Rybakina, who outlasted Karolina Muchova 7-6(4) 2-6 6-4. It will be a rematch from the Australian Open in January, when Rybakina won 6-4 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
Rybakina became the first woman from Kazakhstan to earn a semifinal berth at Indian Wells. She dropped her first set of the tournament in the second, but turned it up in the third. — Agencies
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