When the unexpected defeat in the quarterfinals was sealed, Alexander Zverev left the center court as quickly as possible. A short handshake with the surprise winner Taylor Fritz, a nod towards the referee, grab the bag and the Olympic tennis champion was gone. Despite two match points, the 24-year-old from Hamburg lost 6: 4, 3: 6, 6: 7 (3: 7) on Friday (local time) and thus missed the great chance of the third Masters victory this year in Indian Wells. “I knew after Stefano's defeat this morning I was something of a favorite to win the tournament. But my tennis just wasn't there, ”said Zverev. "That hurts."

The world number three, Stefanos Tsitsipas, had unexpectedly lost 4: 6, 6: 2, 4: 6 to Nikolos Bassilashvili from Georgia in the quarter-finals.

In the other semi-final of the hard court tournament, endowed with 8.76 million US dollars, the Bulgarians Grigor Dimitrov and Cameron Norrie from Great Britain face each other.

A win against Fritz, number 39 in the world rankings, and Zverev would have felt a hand on the cup - this was probably not only the opinion of the observers of the hard court tournament in southern California, which was responsible for the former professional Tommy Haas.

"I lost 7: 6 in the third in a Masters that I was able to win," said Zverev, who was visibly upset, at the press conference.

"It's just not a sensationally good feeling in me right now."

Awarded two match balls

After difficulties, especially in the second set, Zverev got the break to 2-0 in the last set and had more control over the game with this lead. However, when Fritz fended off the first match point at 5: 2 and a little later at Zverev's serve also the second match point and then equalized to 5: 5, it became really exciting again, much to the delight of the fans in the second largest tennis stadium in the world .

Zverev didn't like the behavior of some viewers at all.

“On the one hand, there were a few who always talked between the first and second serve and didn't say nice things.

Then at some point I said, okay, third sentence tiebreaker, at least be respectful, "he reported.

It didn't do anything.

"He played the tiebreak sensationally, I didn't have a lot of chances," said Zverev about Fritz's performance.

Then he disappeared as quickly as possible.

Before the duel, Zverev had won 20 of his 21 matches since his triumph in Tokyo.

Only at the US Open did he have to admit defeat to world number one Novak Djokovic (Serbia) in the semifinals.

Keywords: alexander zverev, tennis, taylor fritz, indian wells, match points, masters, semi-final, quarterfinals, defeat, zverev-aus, champion, quarter-finals, center court, olympic, hard court tournament