Indian Wells D9 wrap: Paul packs punch to roll Ruud

AMERICAN Tommy Paul reached his second ATP Tour 1000 semi-final at Indian Wells today, coming back from a shocking second set to win in three against ninth seed Casper Ruud. The local hope proved too good for the Norwegian, winning 6-2 1-6 6-3 to advance through to the final four, taking full advance of world number one Novak Djokovic being knocked out of his quarter.

Paul has had an up and down last 12 months, but his Indian Wells tournament has seen him defeat Ruud, in-form Frenchman Ugo Humbert and Djokovic-slayer Luca Nardi en route to the semi-finals. In his win over Ruud, Paul won 72 per cent of his first serve points compared to Ruud’s 60 per cent, and a total of 60 per cent service points for the match.

“I am really pumped with how I am playing,” Paul said post-match. “I like how I am playing on the pressure points, on the big points. I am excited for another match.”

Paul hit an impressive 35 winners during the match to win just his second contest against Ruud and edge closer in their six-game history. The contest lasted two hours and 11 minutes and he will need to defeat Russian Daniil Medvedev if he is to make his first ever ATP Masters 1000 final.

Medvedev overcame Holger Rune in a close two-setter 7-5 6-4, with all the other top four seeds bar Djokovic reaching the semi-final. While the Medvedev-Paul clash is sure to catch the interest of local fans, the other semi-final has tennis purists salivating.

The unbeaten Jannik Sinner who is one win off equalling Roger Federer‘s 18-0 start to the season after notching up 17 victories thus far, takes on the red-hot Carlos Alcaraz. Though the Spaniard had some injury issues to start the year, he has played lights out tennis this tournament.

Sinner stormed past Jiri Lehecka – who was responsible for dismantling Stefanos Tsitsipas – 6-3 6-3, but it was Alcaraz’s complete domination of Alexander Zverev that had jaws dropping. The two-time Grand Slam champion showed no mercy in a 6-3 6-1 victory over the German.

Even a swarm of bees that delayed the match for a substantial amount of time could not stop the Spaniard. Though the players, umpire and crowd dispersed while a brave beekeeper cleaned up the swarm – remarkably without a protective suit – Alcaraz returned as if he was still being chased by them, winning the second set 6-1 and triumphing in 64 per cent of the points.


[2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [6] Alexander Zverev (GER) 6-3 6-1
[3] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [32] Jiri Lehecka (CZE) 6-3 6-3
[4] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated [7] Holger Rune (DEN) 7-5 6-4
[17] Tommy Paul (USA) defeated [9] Casper Ruud (NOR) 6-2 1-6 6-3

In the women’s singles, ninth seeded Maria Sakkari came back from a disappointing first set loss to end the run of giant-killer Emma Navarro in the quarter finals. The Greek talent won 5-7 6-2 6-4 to advance through to the semi-finals, winning 71 per cent of her fist serve points and breaking five times to Navarro’s three.

Sakkari will go on to face local young gun Coco Gauff following the third seed’s crushing 6-4 6-3 win over Yue Yuan. By winning, Gauff ended the unseeded Chinese talent’s nine-game unbeaten run that included a WTA 250 title in Texas.

In the other results, top seed Iga Swiatek was on top prior to former world number one Caroline Wozniacki having to retire, with the current holder of that rank advancing through to take on Ukrainian, Marta Kostyuk. The 31st seed comfortably got past Anna Potapova in straight sets, 6-4 6-3.


[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated [WC] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-4 1-0 RET
[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Yue Yuan (CHN) 6-4 6-3
[9] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated [23] Emma Navarro (USA) 5-7 6-2 6-4
[31] Marta Kostyuk (UKR) defeated [28] Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 6-4 6-3

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