Indian Wells

Bee invasion! Alcaraz-Zverev QF resumes after bizarre suspension

Drama arises early in Indian Wells quarter-final clash
March 14, 2024
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Carlos Alcaraz avoids bees on court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday. By ATP Staff

In a rare occurrence Thursday, the BNP Paribas Open quarter-final between defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and sixth seed Alexander Zverev was suspended after bees swarmed Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

With Alcaraz serving at 1-1, 15/0, a mass of bees began to circle around the Spaniard and all throughout the court, even covering the spidercam. The 20-year-old and Zverev took cover in the locker room as chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani announced the match would be suspended until further notice.

Just nine minutes into the match, Alcaraz was preparing to serve when bees began to invade the second seed, who even tried to swat them away from his head as he darted to the locker room.

The TV cameras panned to the spidercam, located above the court, which also was stormed by countless bees.

Some fans began to take cover as Lahyani announced, “Ladies and gentleman, play is suspended due to a bee invasion.”

Roughly 45 minutes into the delay, beekeeper Lance Davis, who was not wearing a protective suit, was seen calmly vacuuming bees off the spidercam. Davis is the president of Palm Desert's Killer Bee Live Removal.

The delay lasted one hour, 48 minutes before Alcaraz and Zverev resumed their ninth Lexus ATP Head2Head clash. The winner will face Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals.

Beekeeper Lance Davis saves the day at the <a href=''>BNP Paribas Open</a>!
Beekeeper Lance Davis saves the day at the BNP Paribas Open! Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour


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