The growing rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner added three chapters in 2023, fighting this trio of Lexus ATP Head2Head duels in the semifinal rounds. After sharing the first two matches successively in Indian Wells and Miami, Sinner took a 2-1 lead on the year – and 4-3 overall – defeating the Spaniard on the way to the title in Beijing.
ATPTour.com reviews their three monumental duels this season.
SF Indian Wells, Alcaraz v. a Sinner 7-6(4), 6-3
In his first duel since the five-set epic at the 2023 US Open, Alcaraz captured a tight first set at the BNP Paribas Open before taking a quick lead in the second set.
The Spaniard started at full speed but found firm resistance from Sinner, capable of winning 11 consecutive points until reaching set point in the opening set. However, Alcaraz nullified that threat with a drop shot, stormed through the tiebreak and built a 3-0 lead in the second set. From there, he found a fertile path to victory.
In a duel full of memorable points, Alcaraz won the most spectacular exchange of the night. Showing his ability to improvise, the Murcian hit a lob from the baseline after Sinner backed him up with two big volleys over the net.
“I am very happy to have overcome this great match. Jannik is a fantastic player capable of incredible shots,” Alcaraz said after the victory. “I think we are going to have a great rivalry in the coming years. We are playing in the best tournaments in the world. It doesn’t end here. We are going to play many important games.”
The Spaniard would defeat Daniil Medvedev in the final to lift his first Indian Wells title without surrendering a set and return to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, succeeding Novak Djokovic.
SF Miami, Sinner v. and Alcaraz 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2
Two weeks after the duel in Indian Wells, Sinner took revenge with a comeback at the Miami Open presented by Itau. In a heart-stopping semi-final, Sinner won one of the best points of the year. A vibrant exchange of 25 blows that culminated with a subtle passing shot that made the crowd go crazy.
Despite that magical moment – and advantages at the beginning of the third set – Sinner found himself on the ropes when facing two breaking points at 3-4 in the second set. However, the Italian responded to the challenge until he changed the course of the match, winning 19 of the next 21 points to take the second set and build a 2-0 wall in the final set.
Alcaraz showed signs of physical suffering at the beginning of the third set, but forced himself to make one last effort. In the end, his 22 winners were not enough to offset the 28 hit by his opponent’s racket.
You May Also Be Interested in: ATP Legacy: Sinner Remembers His Epic Against Alcaraz In SF In Miami
“It means a lot. We have both returned to playing at a very high level of tennis. I tried to do my best,” Sinner said after reaching his second Miami final. “We both try to play aggressively, today it fell on my side and I feel very happy.”
Sinner was beaten by Daniil Medvedev in the Miami final but would lift his first ATP Masters 1000 title later in the season in Toronto.
SF Pekin, Sinner v. and Alcaraz 7-6(4), 6-1
After Alcaraz won 7-4 tiebreaks in their two previous matches, Sinner took the first set tiebreaker with the same score at the China Open.
In a marathon task, Sinner overcame a breakage on two occasions. The Italian began to take control against Alcaraz on the baseline and scored all 15 points played during the set in the net.
After an intense start to the second set, saving five break points in his first two turns of serve, Sinner accelerated towards victory to dominate the Lexus ATP Head2Head record 4-3 against Alcaraz.
“He placed it at the top [de los grandes partidos que he jugado]”said the Italian after the victory. “I would say that all the games against him are very tough. We always show great mutual respect, we both play well. “When we confront each other, we try to push each other to the limit.”
Sinner took advantage of the victory to defeat Medvedev in the final to lift his fourth ATP Tour title of the season, equaling his personal best from 2021.