Carlos Alcaraz defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in his second consecutive semifinal at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Carlos Alcaraz became World No. 1 on September 12, 2022 after defeating Casper Ruud in the US Open final. The Spaniard lost the top spot to Novak Djokovic after the Serb won his 22nd Grand Slam title at the 2023 Australian Open.
Alcaraz was unable to compete in Australia due to an injury sustained at the ATP Paris Masters in November 2022. However, the 19-year-old picked up right where he left off on his return to the ATP tour, winning his first tournament back at the Argentina Open. Subsequently, he reached the finals of the Rio Open the following week as well.
Upon his return to Indian Wells, the former World No. 1 breezed past the competition, winning each of his matches in straight sets. With his win over Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 2022 US Open champion made it through to his second consecutive Indian Wells semifinals where he will take on Jannik Sinner.
During the post-match press conference, Carlos Alcaraz faced a difficult decision when asked if he would choose between reclaiming the World No. 1 position or winning a Major. However, he quickly prioritized achieving more Grand Slam success at this stage in his career.
“It’s tough to pick one, but I would say right now to win a major,” Alcaraz admitted.
Carlos Alcaraz discloses the reason he loves playing against Jannik Sinner
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner last faced each other in the quarterfinals of the 2022 US Open. The match was a thrilling five-hour and 15 minute long encounter that registered the latest ever finish for a match at the Grand Slam.
Speaking about the match in question, the Spaniard praised Sinner’s ability to push his opponent to the limit, both physically and mentally.
“Well, I enjoyed that match, because I have to be really, really focused in every shot. I have to play my best. That’s why Jannik is such a great player, as well. Not only with great serve, great movements, it is because he pushed to the opponent to the limit, you know. Trying to play aggressive with great shots. And to the opponent is really tough to be focused, you know, mentally and physically during the whole match,” he said.
Alcaraz admitted that he loves playing against the Italian because he makes him feel challenged.
“Yeah, and that’s what I love playing against him, as well, you know, that it push me to the limit. I have to be really, really focused. I love to feel that,” he added.
Jannik Sinner defeated defending champion Taylor Fritz to book his Indian Wells semifinals spot. Carlos Alcaraz and Sinner have faced each other on four previous occasions on the ATP tour and are level at two wins apiece.