Indian Wells Masters 2024: An invasion of bees suspends the duel between Alcaraz and Zverev in Indian Wells | Tennis | Sports


This Thursday, in Indian Wells, an episode of science fiction. On the same day that Netflix announced that it will launch a docuseries about Carlos Alcaraz in 2025, already in progress, the tournament produced a surreal sequence when the quarterfinal duel between the Spaniard and the German Alexander Zverev had to be suspended after nine minutes as consequence of a bee invasion. “Play suspended – Bee invasion”decreed the organization. Tennis players, judges and part of the public began to withdraw through the mouths and the action stopped completely when they realized that the cloud of insects had settled in the spidercam —the camera suspended in the air that runs transversally across the court to offer aerial shots— and attacked some of the attendees, including the tennis player from El Palmar.

With 1-1 and 15-0 in his favor, Alcaraz was preparing to serve in the third game, when a threatening cloud of bees suddenly began to lurk in that background and surrounded the player. He immediately realized the situation and tried to protect himself with the racket, by slapping his hands, but he had to immediately take refuge in the locker room after receiving a sting on the forehead. “It’s dangerous,” referee Mohamed Lahyani announced over the public address system. Next, the judges collected their belongings and the bags of both players, and also left the court, waiting for the organization of the Californian tournament to find a solution to resume the match.

An hour later, a beekeeper appeared—surprisingly, without any type of protection, with his company logo screen-printed on his chest, sleeves, and back—and began vacuuming up the hundreds of bees that had lodged in the chamber. Meanwhile, the players were confined to the warm-up area, in the back room of the court; The German Zverev dedicated himself to giving the ball a few touches and Alcaraz, accompanied by members of his team, commented on the anecdote with laughter and did some exercises in anticipation of the organization giving the green light to the game.

“We were on the other side, and there was nothing there. At first, from our position it seemed like it was a cloud of mosquitoes, but then we saw that they were bees and Carlos was already completely surrounded,” the tennis player’s agent, Albert Molina, described in statements to Cope; “The moment he noticed that they were biting him, he began to react. They have raised the spider, but down below, where he was, there were bees left and they have finally vacated the track. It’s funny, but where we sat and in the public area there were none.”

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