Carlos Alcaraz eases into quarter-final as injury ends Jack Draper’s run – ‘Get well soon Jack!’

Carlos Alcaraz and Jack Draper post match

The Carlos Alcaraz-Jack Draper clash at the Indian Wells Open didn’t live up to expectation as their match lasted only 46 minutes before the latter retired with an injury.

Many believed the pair were set for an interesting tussle as they went the distance when they met in Basel last October while both reached the last 16 without dropping a set. Draper, meanwhile, was also coming off two impressive wins over fellow Brits Dan Evans and Andy Murray.

However, Alcaraz dominated from start to finish – and that finish came early in the second set when the world No 56 threw in the towel due to an abdominal injury with the score 6-2, 2-0 in the Spaniard’s favour.

“Get well soon Jack!!” Alcaraz wrote on the camera lens after the match and he added during the post-match on-court interview: “This is not the way anybody wants to win a match, because something is wrong. All I can say is I hope to see him get well soon.”

The world No 2 broke in the opening game of the match, but Draper had a chance to hit back immediately as he had three break points. Alcaraz, though, saved them all and then broke again in game five before serving the set out to love.

Draper, who struggled with the injury during his win over Murray on Monday, required treatment from the physio between the sets and he then retired after two games in the second set.

Alcaraz himself has had injury problems in recent months as he missed the season-ending ATP Finals due to an abdominal injury and then missed the Australian Open because of a hamstring strain.

However, he is starting to gain form again as he won the Argentina Open and finished runner-up at the Rio Open.

“I felt the ball really well,” the 19-year-old said. “I’m really happy with that part.

“I would say I returned well, I hit great shots. I finished the match with confidence in my shots, to come into the next round with more confidence.”

He added: “I have to go back to my usual confidence, you know. I didn’t feel I was the favourite once I start in Argentina, for example. But as soon as I was playing matches, tournaments, I was recovering my confidence, I was recovering, let’s say, my style, my level, and once I — yeah, right now I feel that I’m able to win tournaments. I’m there. One of the favourites.”

The top seed will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-final after the eighth-seeded Canadian defeated Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

The winner of that clash will take on either fourth seed Taylor Fritz or Jannik Sinner in the semi-final. Defending champion Fritz got the better of Marton Fucsovics with a 6-4, 6-3 win while Sinner brushed defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4.

Wawrinka had nine break points and Sinner admitted he got somewhat lucky.

“The scoreline is wrong today,” the Italian said. “I felt like we both were playing very well, long rallies, and he was getting every time very close. I got lucky a little bit there at 4-3 [in the second set] when I was serving, he [barely] missed the return.

“Things can change so quickly. I’m very happy to be in the next round but obviously it was a very, very tough match today.”

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