For a second consecutive year, teenage prodigy Carlos Alcaraz from Spain is the Indian Well semifinalist.
Last year, the young Spaniard reached the semifinals at the Indian Wells as he was breaking through on the ATP Tour. This year, Alcaraz is one of the biggest favourites and he showed it in his quarterfinal match against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Entering the quarterfinal match, the Spaniard was coming with three losses from three matches against Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian beat him last year in his first match as world no. 1 at Davis Cup and repeated the same thing a few weeks later in Basel.
This time, Alcaraz wouldn't let the same happen as he is chasing the world no. 1 spot, which is currently occupied by Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard needs to win in Indian Wells in order to dethrone the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
The 19-year-old had a better start to the match. He troubled Auger-Aliassime on his serve and despite not using his first break points, on the sixth time, Alcaraz finally broke and this would be enough of an advantage for him to seal the set.
In his first four service games, the Spaniard lost only three points, although, he was troubled by the Canadian when serving for the set. Auger-Aliassime had a chance to break back, but Alcaraz stayed calm under pressure and won the first set 6-4.
The younger of the duo started the second set with a break, but Auger-Aliassime immediately broke back. The Spaniard had a chance to break once more, but this time, the Canadian showed his serving qualities and both players held their service games for quite some time.
Fans in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden were already getting ready for a tie-break, but in a crucial moment, Alcaraz showed returning masterclass. He troubled Auger-Aliassime on the return in the ninth game, and eventually used his third break point in that game to secure the needed break.
This time, he served out the match without any major problems, winning it 6-4, 6-4 exactly in two hours to set up a semifinal clash with Jannik Sinner, who defeated last year's champion, Taylor Fritz.