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Alcaraz stung as swarm of bees halts play at Indian Wells

Carlos Alcaraz made a beeline for the exit after thousands of the insects swarmed centre court during his Indian Wells semi-final against Alexander Zverev on…

Carlos Alcaraz made a beeline for the exit after thousands of the insects swarmed centre court during his Indian Wells semi-final against Alexander Zverev on Thursday.

The Spaniard was about to serve at 1-1 in the first set when the bees started circling around the court and after making utile attempts to swat them away with his racket, Alcaraz ran for cover into the locker room.

Bemused umpire Mohamed Lahyani informed the crowd “we are having problems with bees” before confirming that play could not continue, announcing: “Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended due to bee invasion.”

Thousands of bees could also be seen under one of the spider cameras over the main court, while others hovered over the lenses of the TV cameras.

Alcaraz’s agent Albert Molina told reporters the defending champion was stung on his forehead before leaving the court. The Indian Wells bee-catcher Lance Davis, who even has his own reality TV series, was summoned to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where he used a hoover to clean them off wearing no protective clothing as part of the stadium court was evacuated.

The match resumed after a delay of one hour and 48 minutes when Alcaraz looked back at his best as he swatted aside Alexander Zverev to reach the semi-finals, setting up a clash with the in-form Jannik Sinner.

The 20-year-old Spaniard raced past Zverev 6-3 6-1 in little more than 90 minutes to keep his title defence on track.

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