Roland Garros

Ferrero on the semifinal against Sinner: “They are quite tied in terms of favoritism”

The Valencian coach analyzes the Roland Garros semifinal

June 06, 2024

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Carlos Alcaraz hugs Juan Carlos Ferrero after winning Indian Wells this year.
By Staff

Juan Carlos Ferrero perfectly remembers the first match between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. It was in 2019, in the first round of an ATP Challenger event held at the Ferrero Tennis Academy in Alicante. The Spaniard’s 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory against the Italian opened a rivalry that will have another exciting chapter this Friday, when both face each other in the semifinals of Roland Garros, with a place in the grand final at stake. .

“At that time we knew that he had just won three Challenger tournaments and it seemed like he was going to emerge quickly,” Ferrero explained about Sinner this Thursday in Paris. “Then it was like this. Carlos ended up winning, although he was in the middle of construction. The day before he played in the Junior final that was there at the academy and then we tried in the Challenger. “It was a very good first contact.”

That “first contact” is today a great rivalry (4-4 in the Lexus ATP Head2Head series) between two of the best players on the planet, both Grand Slam champions and privileged to have reached world No. 1 (the Italian It will officially be from next Monday).

“I think Sinner is going to try to continue being better every day because he is very young, just like Carlos, and they are both trying to be better every day,” said Ferrero. “There is a strategy for tomorrow. It is clear that if you do not come out with a clear strategy against Sinner, if you do not have a clear idea of ​​how you are going to play, there are always many more complications because you do not know what to play,” added the Valencian coach. “Just like Jannik knows how to play, Carlos also knows it. The thing is that they are both so good that many times they can’t stop believing.”

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Alcaraz is in the semifinals of Roland Garros after recovering from the injury to his right forearm that prevented him from playing in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, playing only in Madrid (he lost in the quarterfinals against Andrey Rublev) before arriving in Paris.

“We have been a little challenged by being able to really play the entire clay court season, which is always important for us,” Ferrero acknowledged. “And then, when it comes to hitting the forehand with 100% confidence again, today I would say it is at 95%. It is still difficult for her to finish hitting the drive with the naturalness that he hit before because an injury like that in her arm always makes you pay a little attention to her,” he remarked.

“Maybe it’s still not at last year’s level, but I don’t like to make comparisons,” said the former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings. “Given the conditions we have come to, it is at a great level. I think the conditions last year were different. We came with much more confidence and everything came out more naturally. This time it has had to go from less to more. I think the result that he has achieved so far is very important at the level of his head and confidence: winning games, seeing that his arm is doing well, gaining that confidence that he needs… Making comparisons with last year’s level is very complicated because of the lack of matches. I hope it ends the level we already know about.”

Thus, with both players in a good moment of form, comes the crossing for the pass to the final of Roland Garros. An encounter that no one wants to miss because of everything they both have to offer, and there is the background to confirm it.

“This year, with the injury we had, people might think he was less of a favorite,” Ferrero reasoned about Alcaraz. “Carlos, like the group, is aware that if he plays at his level he has an important chance of winning any tournament he plays,” he added. “More favorite or less favorite tomorrow? I think it is a match in which both have left some clay tournaments to play due to injuries. They are quite tied in terms of favoritism. Let’s hope that both of them play a great game so that one pulls the other and both get positive feelings.”

The show is served at Roland Garros.


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