Carlos Alcaraz is through to the semi-finals of Indian Wells after a high quality 6-4 6-4 win over Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The world No. 2 recorded his first victory over the Canadian in four meetings and the win moves him to within two of a return to No. 1 in the ATP rankings.
Alcaraz, who will play No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals, says his thrilling win over Auger-Aliassime was one of his best performances this year so far.
“I knew that I was going to have my chances. [I had to] try to take it. Probably I played one of my best matches this season, in 2023. I’m really happy and [want to] keep going.
“This is the first time I broke his serve and I’m really proud of that.
“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.”
The first set was tight with both players matching each other’s power from the baseline for the majority of it.
In the fifth game, Alcaraz sealed the all-important break, converting his fifth one of the game. Alcaraz then had to fight off a break point to serve out the opening set.
Auger-Aliassime played with greater variety in the second and broke the Alcaraz serve in the opening service game of the second set. But Alcaraz broke to level at 1-1.
The decisive break came late in the second set to bring an end to a seven-minute game. A drop shot volley from Alcaraz got him to break point which he converted to make it 5-4 before serving out the win.
Alcaraz, who has not lost a set at Indian Wells, is looking forward to facing Sinner in Saturday’s semi-final with the pair’s head-to-head record currently at 2-2.
“I’m really happy to play against him again. Great battles,” Alcaraz said.
“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 per cent. Jannik is playing great. I’m going to enjoy that match.”
Sinner is through to his second Masters semi-final after a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Taylor Fritz to end the American’s title defence.
“I just tried to play quite aggressively, which I’ve done,” Sinner said after the match.
“I’m obviously very happy about the performance. Playing against Taylor is never easy. I lost against him two years ago here. He loves the conditions here so I’m very happy that I found a way today.”
Sinner ends Fritz’s title defence in Indian Wells quarter-final
The Italian got off to a fast start, taking the opening set by breaking in the first game of the match and held his nerve to take the opener with a love hold.
Sinner’s error count increased in the second set and Fritz broke for the first time in the match on set point.
Both players traded breaks in the opening two games of the final set decider, but eventually Sinner regained his break advantage to go 5-4 up, before a love hold of serve got him over the line after two hours and 17 minutes on court.
“I think the wind came a little bit at some points, especially in the second set,” Sinner added.
“He started to move me around little bit more. I think we both have very similar play styles. We both try to be very aggressive from the baseline, so I tried to mix things up a little bit. Obviously how I played the third set, I’m very happy.”
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