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Alcaraz breezes past Marozsan to book quarter-final date with Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the quarter-finals of Indian Wells with a 6-3 6-3 win over Fabian Marozsan.

Alcaraz is the highest seed left in the men’s draw following Novak Djokovic’s shock defeat to world No 123 Luca Nardi and is favourite to defend his title from last year.

The 20-year-old will play Alexander Zverev on Thursday after he came from a set behind to beat Alex de Minaur 5-7 6-2 6-3 in two hours and 46 minutes.

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Alcaraz breaks serve with some spectacular shots during the sixth game of the second set

“I was nervous before the match – I am not going to lie,” said Alcaraz, who was beaten by Marozsan in Rome last year.

“Playing against someone that beat you, let’s say easily, or I had no chances in the game in Rome so it was difficult for me to approach the game today but I am really happy with the way that I did.

“I started pretty well, played my style since the beginning and of course, today I knew what I had to do better than I did in Rome. Of course, he has shown the level that he has. He is a really good tennis player.

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Alcaraz was apprehensive coming into his match against Marozsan, but is happy with how he performed

“After a great first set, it was time to keep going and keep pushing in the second set, break as soon as possible. I was trying to not let him put his style on the court, that was what I was thinking, and I think I did pretty well.

“I think I did a few mistakes that I didn’t want to make so that is what I want to do better in the next round. I also want to serve better but that doesn’t mean that I served badly.

“I want to keep improving, keep good tennis on the court and hopefully keep coming near the front.”

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Alcaraz gets warmed up in a slightly different way, as he kicks a ball around before he heads out to play Marozsan

How Alcaraz got the better of Marozsan

Alcaraz got better as the match went on after the opening six games were shared. He made a decisive breakthrough with some stunning hitting and great touch to go 4-3 up, then won the next two games as Marozsan struggled with his opponent’s variety.

Marozsan got back on track early in the second set, which was similar to the first.

This time, Alcaraz broke in the sixth game with more great play that the crowd loved as he whipped a forehand passing shot past Marozsan to go 4-2 up.

An extraordinary forehand winner of over 100mph from Alcaraz underlined the momentum shift after Marozsan fumbled two break back opportunities.

The Hungarian held his own serve but was unable to break Alcaraz, who remains on track to become the first player to defend the Indian Wells singles title since Djokovic in 2016.

Zverev sets up Alcaraz clash

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Alex de Minaur stretches to reach the ball, but can’t quite return the shot from Alexander Zverev

Alcaraz will face Zverev in a repeat of this year’s Australian Open quarter-final, which the latter won in January.

Zverev battled past De Minaur, who made hard work of the opening set after an early break before being pegged back to 5-5, only to break again and win the set.

However, Zverev wasn’t done as he raised his game and changed the momentum by overcoming a break by De Minaur at the start of the second then won four games in a row from 2-2 to send the match into a deciding set.

Zverev made the decisive break in the sixth game of the final set to go 4-2 up and went on to hold his serve to book a place in the last eight at Indian Wells for the second time.

“I’m probably the worst player in the wind on tour! But I don’t remember playing a better match in wind than I did today, maybe the best match of my life in wind, so extremely happy with that,” said Zverev.

“You don’t feel your shots or serve. But I found a way to win. When you’re down a set and a break you have to figure it out and I did. I played differently from both ends of the court.”

In the earlier men’s last 16 match, Stefanos Tsistipas was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Jiri Lehecka, who continues his great run after defeating world No 5 Andrey Rublev in the previous round.

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