(Indian Wells) Jannik Sinner, 13th in the world, qualified for the semi-finals of the Indian Wells tournament, beating 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 defending champion Taylor Fritz (5th), in end of a big standoff, Thursday in California.

The 21-year-old Italian, winner in Montpellier and finalist in the wake of Rotterdam in February, will face Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (2nd) or Quebecer Félix Auger-Aliassime (10th).

He took his revenge on the American, who had eliminated him in the 8th, two years ago, in the Californian desert, for their first confrontation.

Extremely solid, showing no flaw in his game, varying his shots very well to make his opponent run, Sinner delivered an impeccable score in the first set. He broke in the first game and was never worried on his return service.

In the second set, the wind started to pick up and Fritz competed much better in the rallies, unleashing a few overpowering forehands to respond to heavy backhands slammed by the Italian. And he was able to seize the only opportunity that presented itself at 5-4 to finally steal the opposing commitment and equalize.

The two players in turn lost their third set entry serve. But then Fritz was often on the precipice, saving three break points at 1-1, then another at 3-3. The fifth opportunity was the right one for Sinner.

“I tried to play aggressive from start to finish because we have similar games him and me attacking from the baseline. In the end, I’m happy that I found a way to beat him in the last run,” commented the winner.

The first Italian to reach the last four in the Californian desert, he will try to reach his second final of a tournament in this category just below the Grand Slams, after that lost in Miami in 2021 against the Pole Hubert Hurkacz.