Alcaraz and Wozniacki roll through to Indian Wells quarter-finals with wins

World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz beat Fabian Marozsan 6-3, 6-3 at Indian Wells in his bid to be the first player to defend the title since Djokovic in 2016.

World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz raced into the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open with a straight-sets win over Fabian Marozsan in Indian Wells. The Spaniard, bidding to become the first player to defend the title since Novak Djokovic in 2016, won 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and a quarter.

Hungarian Marozsan, 24, came into the match with a rare winning head-to-head record against Alcaraz, having beaten him on the Rome clay last year in their only previous meeting, one of the shock results of the season.

The Wimbledon champion quickly went about taking his revenge, winning four games in a row from 3-2 down to take the first set. A solitary break for 4-2 in the second proved enough to wrap up the match and book a last-eight meeting with Alexander Zverev.

“Honestly I was nervous before the match, playing against someone who beat you, let’s say easily, it was difficult for me to approach the game,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “But I’m happy with the win. Today I knew better what I needed to do than in Rome.” Zverev took down Australian Alex de Minaur after he lost the first set before coming back to win 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner continued his stellar start to the year, recording his 18th straight win in a victory over American Ben Shelton 7-6 (4), 6-1. Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 11th seed from Greece, was on the end of an upset as he slipped to a 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Czech youngster Jiri Lehecka.

In the women’s singles draw world No 1 Iga Swiatek will take on former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals after taking little more than an hour to beat Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Wozniacki, from Denmark, defeated three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber in 90 minutes 6-4, 6-2, advancing to her first WTA 100 quarter-final since 2019 after returning to the tour.

After her match, Wozniacki said she will have to play her “best tennis to compete” with Swiatek. “I think I have obviously commentated some of her matches,” she said. “I know how she’s playing. Obviously she’s playing good tennis, playing powerfully. I practised with her as well a few times after I have come back, during the US Open as well. I know how she plays, but it’s one thing knowing how she plays and also playing against her in a full match.”