INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—To quote Judy Murray: you cannot bee serious!

The 2024 BNP Paribas Open quarterfinal between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev got off to a stinging start in the worst sense of the phrase, as a swarm of bees delayed action on Stadium 1 Court less than three games into the match.

A bee keeper, the President of Killer Bee Live Removal, was called to court to address the situation, and the delay a total one hour, 48 minutes.

"I'm glad I'm not there anymore," remarked Iga Swiatek, watching the incident unfold during her post-match press conference. "That's crazy. There was nothing like 30 minutes ago. I would run away!"

Umpire Mohamed Lahyani, who appeared to have been stung as he descended from the chair, declared a “bee invasion” minutes after Alcaraz and Zverev fled the court, bees gathering around the stadium’s spider camera.

“There’s a first time for everything,” echoed on-court announcer Andrew Krasny with the score standing at 1-1, 15-0, Alcaraz to serve on resumption.

According to Alcaraz's agent Albert Molina, Alcaraz was also stung in the melee.


Alcaraz and Zverev stood among the most-anticipated quarterfinals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday. The No. 2-seeded Spaniard is the defending champion, but Zverev defeated Alcaraz in their most recent encounter at the Australian Open, and led their overall head-to-head 5-3.

“I think the conditions here suits very well to my game,” Alcaraz said after winning a ninth straight match in Indian Wells on Tuesday. “I feel really comfortable in this court, in this tournament.”

Once Alcaraz was comfortable enough to compete again—he appeared to require reassurance from tournament officials and the bee keeper—it showed, as he routed Zverev, 6-3, 6-1. The win sets up a star-studded semfinal against Jannik Sinner, and it will be for the No. 2 ranking.

Stadium 1 Court was treated to video from nearby Stadium 2 Court, where play unabated between Coco Gauff and surprise quarterfinalist Yuan Yue—with the only buzz heard there coming from fans of the reigning US Open champion.