Top players forced to retreat after bee swarm at Indian Wells tennis tournament

World number two Carlos Alcaraz of Spain has been forced off court due to a bee invasion at the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California in the US.

Alcaraz was in the early stages of his quarterfinal match against German Alexander Zverev when the bees began swarming around the court.

Alcaraz appeared to be stung on the forehead before he retreated.

Carlos Alcaraz stung by a bee at Indian Wells

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner had earlier extended his winning run to 19 matches by beating Jiri Lehecka to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals – before a swarm of bees stopped play.

Italian Sinner beat Czech Lehecka, ranked 32 in the world, 6-3 6-3.

“He has huge potential so I was really aware of every point that I made,” said third seed Sinner, 22.

Sinner will face defending champion Alcaraz or Zverev in the last four.

Play was halted in their quarter-final match later on Thursday when the bees appeared.

World number two Alcaraz ran off court as the bees buzzed around one of the cameras and gathered under the chair of umpire Mohamed Lahyani, who announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended due to bee invasion.”

The pair were tied at 1-1 in the opening set of what was a rematch of an Australian Open quarter-final, which Zverev won.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain hides under his shirt as a swarm of bees invade the court whilst playing against Alexander Zverev of Germany in their Quarterfinal match during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2024 in Indian Wells, California.

Elsewhere, American 17th seed Tommy Paul held his nerve to beat Norwegian ninth seed Casper Ruud 6-2 1-6 6-3 and reach the last four of the California tournament for the first time.

He will face the winner of the match between Russian world number four Daniil Medvedev and Danish seventh seed Holger Rune.

World number three Sinner last tasted defeat in last year’s ATP Tour Finals – where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final – and has enjoyed a perfect start to the 2024 season.

His winning streak includes a Grand Slam breakthrough title in Australia in January along with a triumph in Rotterdam last month.

In windy conditions, Sinner was in fine form as he broke early in each set and saved the only break point he faced against Lehecka, who was playing in his first ATP 1,000 quarter-final.

“In the morning, it was really, really windy,” Sinner said after the victory. “The first set was tough to handle.

“In a way I am just happy because I made 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.”


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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