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Sunday’s Must-See Matches: Sinner, Alcaraz Look To Keep Hot Streaks Going
4 Min Read · March 9, 2024

Sunday’s third-round clashes are teeming with big names at the BNP Paribas Open. Iga Swiatek, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are each bidding for the sweet 16, while a quartet of Americans aim to advance. 


Iga Seeks Revenge 

Revenge is a dish best served cold, but World No.1 Swiatek will take it any way she can get it on Sunday, as she faces rising Czech teen Linda Noskova for the second time in 2024. The pair’s other meeting ended in heartbreak for the Polish juggernaut, as Noskova played out of her shoes and hit the top seed out of the Australian Open in the third round, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in January. 

Noskova’s triumph snapped Swiatek’s 18-match winning streak and marked the earliest that a top-seeded woman had fallen out of the Aussie Open since 1979. 

On Sunday Swiatek, who is 14-2 on the season and 14-3 lifetime at Indian Wells, will hope to even the score against the talented World No.29 in their third career meeting (1-1 overall). 

Sinner Streaking 

Speaking of prolonged winning streaks, Italy’s Sinner is on a major heater himself. This year’s Australian Open men’s singles champion rides a 16-match winning streak into his third-round matchup with Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff (first-time meeting). 

That’s a remarkable run for the 22-year-old World No.3, but he’s not exactly keeping close tabs on his streak. Asked if he was aware of how many consecutive wins he had after Friday’s 6-3, 6-0 victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis, he deadpanned: “Yeah, because [you guys] tell me all the time.” 

Sinner isn’t the type to fawn over statistics. But he is about putting his best foot forward on the tennis court. The Italian devoutly believes in the process, preferring to let his racquet do the talking while the numbers take care of themselves. 

“As I said before, it can go [quickly] in the wrong way,” he said of his streak. “I just try to keep it as long as possible. Maybe it's over in two days; maybe not. We cannot predict the future.” 

Rematch of the Dubai Final 

What a coincidence! Just two weeks ago in Dubai, Jasmine Paolini and Anna Kalinskaya celebrated their arrival on the big stage by playing the final at the prestigious Dubai 1000. Italy’s Paolini claimed the biggest title of her career, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, fighting from a break down in the second and third sets to avenge a loss to Kalinskaya that she suffered a month earlier at the 2024 Australian Open, in the round of 16. 

The pair’s fourth WTA meeting is a showdown between two rising talents who are playing the best tennis of their careers – by far. 

Four Americans Take Center Stage Sunday

Who will be the next American champion at the BNP Paribas Open? Frances Tiafoe, Ben Shelton, Madison Keys and Katie Volynets will lead the American contingent into the third round on Sunday with seven others contesting the Round of 32 on Monday. 

Tiafoe takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in a blockbuster on Stadium 2, while wild card Volynets, a Northern California native, will take on 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki on Stadium 1. 

Big-serving Shelton, the No.16 seed, will face Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo on Stadium 1, while Keys will square off with Yulia Putintseva on Stadium 3. 

If you’re scoring at home: Taylor Fritz is the last American man to win the singles titles at Indian Wells, in 2022, and an American woman has not won the title since Serena Williams in 2001. 

Alcaraz Title Defense Continues 

2023 champion Alcaraz started slow as he commenced his title defense on Friday night, dropping his opening set to Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi before rebounding to win in three. On Sunday he’ll square off with familiar face Felix Auger-Aliassime in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal clash, won by Alcaraz, 6-4, 6-4. 

The Canadian has not been at his best in 2024, but the World No.31 can take comfort from his 3-1 lifetime record against Alcaraz. Same for 20-year-old Alcaraz, who has not lifted a trophy on tour since Wimbledon 2023, a span of 10 events without a title. 

But it will be the Spaniard who enters with more confidence. Alcaraz is a 12-time titlist on the ATP Tour, and rides a seven-match BNP Paribas Open winning streak. He stated his mission clearly in his pre-tournament press conference. 

“I’m coming here to defend the title," Alcaraz said. “There are the best tennis players in the world. Some of them are playing great tennis this year. I know it’s going to be really difficult, but I'm here to do it.” 

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