Roland Garros

Alcaraz: “Facing Sinner is one of the biggest challenges right now”

Spanish and Italian will play on Friday in the Roland Garros semifinals

June 04, 2024

Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his victory in the Roland Garros quarterfinals.
By Staff

The match of matches is already here. Carlos Alcaraz will face Jannik Sinner this Friday in the semifinals of Roland Garros in a fight between two of the players of the moment.

The couple, who have met previously on 8 occasions (4-4 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series), will go to the Philippe Chatrier with a juicy prize awaiting the winner of the match: the first final for either of them in the second Grand Slam it’s from the season.

“I hope that in the next 10 or 15 years I will continue fighting him,” Alcaraz warned after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday night. “As I have said many times, I am grateful to have Jannik on the circuit. In the end, it makes me a better player, it makes me get up in the morning and want to improve, want to train to try to raise my level and fight for great things with him,” continued No. 3.

“When the draw came out, I think everyone wanted that semifinal between us. Personally, I also want to play. It is one of the biggest challenges in tennis right now. I think he has two losses this year, that reflects the level at which he is playing. In any case, we are prepared to give our best, to enjoy the game and make people enjoy it. I hope it will be a nice meeting.”

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Alcaraz is not lacking in reason, far from it. Sinner, with a record of 33-2 this season, will be the new No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings next Monday, a consequence of Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the tournament, injured in his right knee. The Italian, who has won 3 titles in 2024 (Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami), has returned in Paris to the great form he was in before giving up playing the quarterfinals in Madrid (and then in Rome) for a injury to his hip.

“Right now I don’t consider myself a favorite against him, obviously,” Alcaraz said. “Facing Sinner is one of the biggest challenges in tennis right now, and with that I say it all.”

“Sinner was already a great player, but perhaps a little irregular, I dare say,” analyzed the Spaniard. “It is something that he has managed to change. All the games I have seen him this year he has been at a very high level. He has improved it a lot and that is why he is in the current position. In the end, it is what top players do very well, and he has become one of them.”


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