Top seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain beat eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-4 6-4 in the quarterfinal of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Thursday. The 19-year-old Spaniard is eyeing his third career Masters 1000 title there and will face Jannik Sinner of Italy in the semifinal on Saturday.
Thursday’s match was over within a couple of hours, as Alcaraz was decidedly the superior player. The slower conditions favored him and Auger-Aliassime could not do much to trouble him. We will now take a look how the match progressed:
How Carlos Alcaraz beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in Indian Wells
Both players went around their backhand pretty often:
Both Carlos Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime went around their backhand repeatedly to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands. The Spaniard exploited Auger-Aliassime’s weaker backhand with his inside-out forehand, as the latter tried to avoid hitting off his backhand as much as possible. On a few occasions, Alcaraz put pressure on Auger-Aliassime by playing a forceful inside-out approach shot before going to the net to finish the point.
The Canadian started going into the net frequently as the first set progressed, but Alcaraz managed to pass him on a few occasions. However, Auger-Aliassime’s big first serve allowed him to get a few easy points and he also managed to save a couple of break points in the fifth game.
However, Alcaraz managed to break him eventually in that game and then held his serve to lead 4-2. The Spaniard then maintained his lead to win the first set and thereby put the Canadian under pressure.
Carlos Alcaraz took advantage of Auger-Aliassime’s second serve:
Although Auger-Aliassime fired his first serve with a lot of venom, his second serve was not often up to the mark, as he could win only 50% of the points on it in the match. Alcaraz got the decisive break in the ninth game of the second set and then served out the match.
Alcaraz had as many as 12 break point opportunities in the match, of which he could convert three. Auger-Aliassime played a few wonderful defensive lobs in the second set, but was again found wanting on the backhand wing.
Alcaraz kept targeting the Canadian’s backhand with his inside-out forehand in the second set, too, and also responded with drop shots at times to counter Auger-Aliassime’s tactic of playing backhand slices.
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports