Last Updated: March 15, 2023, 09:16 IST
Carlos Alcaraz at the Indian Wells (AP)
Carlos Alcaraz qualified for the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells with Jack Draper retiring with an injury to his right side
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz reached the Indian Wells quarter-finals Tuesday as Britain’s Jack Draper retired from their fourth-round match with an injury to his right side.
Spain’s Alcaraz, who can return to number one in the world with a third ATP Masters 1000 title this week, led 6-2, 2-0 when Draper, who had been treated by a physio, called a halt after 46 minutes on court.
“This is not the way anybody wants to win a match, because something is wrong,” Alcaraz said. “All I can say is I hope to see him get well soon.”
Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest men’s world number one ever last year after his precocious US Open triumph.
But after an abdominal injury hindered him late last year and a leg injury forced him to miss the Australian Open he has slipped behind Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic is absent this week as he is prohibited from entering the United States because he declined to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Alcaraz returned to action last month with a victory in Buenos Aires and a runner-up finish in Rio de Janeiro — where he suffered a strained hamstring that prompted him to pull out of Acapulco.
He’s looked in fine form in Indian Wells, although Draper couldn’t offer much resistance.
It was a disappointing finish to the week for Draper, who beat childhood hero Andy Murry in the third round.
Kvitova topples Pegula
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova saved four match points to shock third-ranked American Jessica Pegula 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (13/11) on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells for the first time in seven years.
Kvitova, a former world number two now ranked 15th in the world, will try to make her first Indian Wells semi-final in her 12th appearance when she takes on last year’s runner-up Maria Sakkari.
“I had all these emotions, up and down all the match, it was a disaster at some point and then I was just making winners.
“I don’t know how many match points I was saving today — four? Oh! I don’t know how I did it.”
Kvitova, 33, reached the quarter-finals in the California desert in 2013 and 2016.
After she grabbed the first set off Pegula — who came from a set down in both of her previous matches — the American turned things around.
But Pegula couldn’t finish the job. Kvitova saved a match point in the 10th game of the third set, breaking Pegula.
They traded two more service breaks to get to a tiebreaker that was neck-and-neck throughout. Pegula had the first chance at 6-5, but Kvitova won the next two points to give herself a match point.
On it went until Kvitova’s gutsy serve and volley move on her fourth match point paid off.
“I knew that Jessica would not miss. It doesn’t matter what I’m going to do I know I was always wearing down in the third and trying to come back.
“I just still had to go for it. It’s really tough in the tight moments to go for it.”
(With inputs from Agencies)
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