Jannik Sinner became the first Italian man to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open when he ousted defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on Thursday evening. Sinner survived a big-hitting encounter between two red-hot players after two hours and 17 minutes.
The world No 13 awaits either Carlos Alcaraz of Felix Auger-Aliassime on Saturday.
See you in the Semis, @janniksin 👊
With his victory over Fritz, the Italian awaits the winner of Alcaraz/Auger-Aliassime! pic.twitter.com/jBN2RjZVrz
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 17, 2023
Sinner gave back an immediate break in the deciding set, but he recovered for another break at 4-4. With the match on his racket, the world No 13 served it out with no trouble.
“For sure it was tough match knowing that he likes the conditions here,” Sinner said of Fritz. “He won here last year. I lost against him two years ago (in Indian Wells). I’m very happy about the win today, so let’s see what’s coming next.”
Fritz: “I hate more than anything losing in the quarter-finals”
While it will be either Alcaraz or Auger-Aliassime for Sinner, Fritz heads home too early for his liking. The California native not only lifted the trophy last year but also reached the semi-finals in 2021. This is undoubtedly his favorite tournament.
“It hurts more being in a position where I feel like I could have won,” Fritz admitted. “I felt like if I can get that hold at 4-all (in the third), then we switch sides, I go to the side where I’m with the wind, he’s against it and he’s serving against the wind, 4-5 down. I feel like that would have put a lot of pressure on him and I feel like I would have had a decent chance maybe to break that game.
“So I do feel like if I could have gotten that hold at 4-all, it potentially could have been different. It is what it is. A loss is a loss. I hate more than anything losing in quarter-finals and semi-finals of tournaments. You do all the work, and then do all the work of winning like three, four matches, and then don’t really get the payoff or like the points and the ranking.”
Earlier in the tournament the 21-year-old beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet (6-3, 7-6 (2)), Frenchman Adrian Mannarino (7-6 (7), 6-4) and Swiss Stan Wawrinka (6-1, 6-4).
Fritz, ranked No 5, had previously knocked off countryman Ben Shelton (4-6, 6-4, 6-3), Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, the No 30 seed (6-1, 6-2) and Hungarian Marton Fucsovics (6-4, 6-3).
Indian Wells Masters, other quarter-final results:
- Carlos Alcaraz vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime
- Daniil Medvedev (5) beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (23): 6-3, 7-5
- Frances Tiafoe (14) beat Cameron Norrie (10): 6-4, 6-4