Tennis

Indian Wells Open: Bees Invade Carlos Alcaraz's QF Against Alexander Zverev

The quarter-final match had to be suspended for 1 hour, 48 minutes owing to the bizarre occurrence. Carlos Alcaraz eventually beat Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1 to book a last-four meeting with Jannik Sinner at the Indian Well Masters 2024

AP/Mark J. Terrill
Carlos Alcaraz swats bees during his quarter-final match against Alexander Zverev at the Indian Wells Open 2024 in California on Friday (March 15). Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill
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You've seen them stopping play on the cricket field. It was now time for the tennis arena. A swarm of bees descended on court during the all-important quarter-final match between Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz and Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Indian Wells Masters 2024 (also known as the BNP Paribas Open) on Friday, March 15. (More Tennis News)

The unusual occurrence caused a 1 hour, 48 minutes long interruption in the match, which Alcaraz went on to win 6-3, 6-1. The on-court play duration of the match ended up to be shorter than the delay.

It took all of nineteen minutes for the bees to compel chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani to suspend the match. Alcaraz was serving at 1-1 when he found the bees buzzing around him, swatted at them and eventually ran for cover as Lahyani announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended due to bee invasion."

You can watch how it all unfolded in the video below.

The overhead spider camera that traverses the court was soon engulfed with dozens of bees, and a man without any protective covering used a vacuum to clean them off.

Zverev and Alcaraz left the court during the delay. When they returned, Lahyani told them there were still some bees around and Zverev jokingly said that he was fine to play on his side of the court.

The bee vacuumer was then summoned back to the court with a spray bottle and the crowd cheered him wildly. The man even posed for selfies with spectators, causing Alcaraz and Zverev to burst out laughing as they saw him patrol the seats spraying for bees.

Alcaraz will take on third-ranked Jannik Sinner of Italy in the semi-finals. Sinner extended his unbeaten run to 19 matches by defeating Jiri Lehecka 6-3 6-3 in their last-eight clash.

(With AP inputs)

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