Tennis

Un-bee-lievable! Tennis match suspended after bees swarm court at Indian Wells tournament

Advantage, bees. Carlos Alcaras and Alexander Zverev had to leave the court during their quarterfinal match because of the bee invasion

Tennis camera swarmed by bees
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Tennis players had to make like a bee and buzz off.

Second-ranked Carlos Alcaras and his opponent No. 6 Alexander Zverev had to leave the court during their quarterfinal match Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open 2024 in Indian Wells, California after the area was invaded by a swarm of bees.

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The stoppage, which was nearly two hours long, began early in the first set after Alcaras was swarmed as he was about to serve with the score at 1-1. He began swatting at the bees with his hand and racket before leaving the Stadium 1 court.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are surrounded by bees here so play is paused for a while," umpire Mohamed Lahyani told the crowd. "Play cannot continue. Pause for a while now."

Best to bee careful.

The spider cam, a camera that hovers on cables above the court during play, was covered by bees. A beekeeper arrived and began removing the bees from the camera.

It was game, set and match for the beekeeper, who received a standing ovation from the crowd after his job was complete and even posed for some selfies with fans in the stands.

Play then resumed after a delay of one hour, 48 minutes.

It wasnt the first time a professional sporting event was suspended by bees. A 2019 baseball game between the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres was delayed for 28 minutes after bees gathered on a microphone attached to the netting near the Padres' dugout.

A 2023 game between the Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles was paused for five minutes when a swarm of honeybees settled in left field. 

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