Stung into action, Carlos Alcaraz flees the bees at Indian Wells


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Stung into action, Carlos Alcaraz flees the bees at Indian Wells

UNFAZED. Carlos Alcaraz reacts after winning a point in his quarterfinal match against Alexander Zverev in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

A swarm of bees halts the Indian Wells match for nearly two hours as world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz also gets stung, prompting organizers to call a beekeeper to control the situation

Carlos Alcaraz said he surprised himself by staying focused despite being stung on the forehead at Indian Wells on Thursday, March 14 (Friday, March 15, Manila time) after the Spaniard’s quarterfinal against Alexander Zverev was interrupted by a swarm of bees.

The world No. 2 was serving in the third game of the match when the bees descended upon him. The 20-year-old tried swatting them away with his racket but eventually ran for cover after being stung.

Alcaraz, who emerged with a 6-3, 6-1 victory to keep his title defense on track, said the bees were all over him.

“I saw some bees around but I thought it was just a few of them, just not too many,” he told reporters.

“But I saw the sky and there was thousands flying, stuck in my hair, going to me. It was crazy. I tried to stay away from them, but it was impossible.”

Play resumed after an hour and 48 minutes, during which a beekeeper was called to control the situation.

“When we stepped on court, there were a few bees in the corner, it was bothering us. We couldn’t start playing again. When we decided to warm up a bit to see how it goes, I was hitting some balls and seeing some bees around me,” Alcaraz said.

“I couldn’t stay focused on the ball, I was focused on the bees and tried to [keep them] away. That’s why we stopped a few more times before the match began again.”

“After that, we decided to warm up and I saw that the bees weren’t around anymore. I tried not think about them anymore.

“It was a really important game for me. I surprised myself that I stayed focus on the match, not on the bees.”

Alcaraz took the interruption to clear the bees from the court in stride before racing past Zverev in little more than 90 minutes.

Zverev did not play badly but Alcaraz’s all-court game was just too good, the 20-year-old Spaniard sealing the victory by breaking the German for the fourth time and taking his winning streak in the Californian desert to 10 matches.

“It was strange, I’ve never seen something like that at a tennis match,” twice major champion Alcaraz said of the invasion of bees.

“I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit afraid of the bees. Once the match started again, I managed to stay away from the bees and do the things I needed to do.” –

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