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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, March 14, 2024


Jannik Sinner swept Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 6-3 to score his 19th consecutive victory and cruise into his second straight Indian Wells semifinal.

Photo credit: Frey/TPN/Getty

Accelerating through his backhand, Jannik Sinner whipped a whirlwind a drive that left Jiri Lehecka looking like a stranded tourist as the last bus blew by him.

The hard court is a highway and a streaking Sinner continues his perfect roll in Paradise.

Djokovic: Have to Accept It

Playing with command, Sinner swept Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 6-3 to cruise into his sixth Masters 1000 semifinal at the BNP Paribas Open.

Australian Open champion Sinner scored his 19th consecutive improving to a perfect 16-0 in 2024—the seventh best start to an ATP season in Open Era history.

"In the beginning was windy, but I handled it very well. I mean, he's an incredible player with huge potential from both swings," Sinner told the media in Indian Wells. "He was serving really well. For sure I'm happy about the performance.

"There was not so much rhythm today, so, you know, it's a little bit different kind of matchup, but for sure I'm really happy about the performance and happy to be back here in the semifinals."

The victory sends Sinner into his fourth straight semifinal where he awaits either Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz or Olympic gold-medal champion Alexander Zverev for a spot in Sunday’s final.  Alcaraz defeated Sinner, 7-6(4), 6-3 in the 2023 Indian Wells semifinals before the Italian enacted revenge with a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 triumph in the Miami Open semifinals.

"Carlos, it's always fun to play with him," Sinner said. "We are good friends off the court. On the court, we just try to give 100%, no?

"I think we have a good attitude on court. Usually the matches are good. Last year against him, especially here on this court, I struggled a lot. He played much better than me, which then two weeks after I played Miami against him where I won, so, you know, let's see.

"But he has today a very tough match against Sascha. Especially when he's serving really well it's tough to play against him. You know, for sure it's going to be an exciting match already today to watch, and we see who is going to play against me.

"Yeah, I'm looking forward for every challenge."

A sharp Sinner has surrendered just 23 games in four straight-sets wins to reach the semifinals for the second year in a row.

Wearing long black sleeves beneath his white t-shirt to ward off the windy conditions, Sinner disarmed Lehecka from the outset.

The lanky Italian dominated off both serve and return. Sinner won 23 of 27 first-serve points, saving the lone break point he faced, and won 16 of 23 points played on the Czech’s second serve.

Driving crackling shots into the corners, Sinner showed sharp transition skills winning 10 of 13 trips to net.

The 22-year-old Sinner swept a forehand pass down the line scoring the first break for 2-1.

Showing fire and finesse, Sinner backed up the break with a booming forward and deft drop shot for 3-1.

Sinner stamped a love hold stretching his lead to 4-2.

The Wimbledon semifinalist scored his second break to snatch a one-set lead.

Lashing a leaping backhand crosscourt brought Sinner to double match point in the eighth game.

Lehecka unloaded successive 130 mph serves saving both match points. The Czech stood firm working through a tricky hold for 3-5.

Sinner closed in one hour, 24 minutes.


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