Tennis: Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz forced off court by swarm of bees during Indian Wells quarter-final

Carlos Alcaraz looks back at his best, after swatting aside a swarm of bees and world No.6 Alexander Zverev to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells, setting up a clash with in-form Jannik Sinner.

The world No.2 took an interruption to clear the bees from the court in his stride, before racing past Zverev 6-3 6-1 in little more than 90 minutes to keep his title defence on track.

Zverev did not play badly, but Alcaraz's all-court game was just too good, with the Spaniard sealing the victory by breaking the German for the fourth time and taking his winning streak in the Californian desert to 10 matches.

Carlos Alcaraz escapes the bees at Indian Wells.
Carlos Alcaraz escapes the bees at Indian Wells. Photo credit: Getty Images

"It was strange, I've never seen something like that at a tennis match," said twice major champion Alcaraz, 20, of the bee invasion.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit afraid of the bees. Once the match started again, I managed to stay away from the bees and do the things I needed to do."

Italian Sinner earlier continued his perfect start to the season by cruising past Jiri Lehecka 6-3 6-3 to improve his win-loss record this year to 16-0.

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," said Sinner. "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.

Sinner took much the same business-like approach in the second, again claiming the early break to get 3-1 ahead and holding serve on the way to a 19th straight win, including three from the end of last season.

Local hope Tommy Paul also reached the semi-finals with a 6-2 1-6 6-3 win over Casper Ruud. He will play the winner of the remaining quarter-final between Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune.