Alcaraz ready to reignite rivalry compared to Djokovic and Nadal
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Carlos Alcaraz will renew his rivalry with Jannik Sinner in Indian Wells, with the two young stars set to meet in the semi-final. Their matches so far have been compared to the Big Three rivalry between Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And the top seed at the BNP Paribas Open explained why he enjoyed facing the Italian so much.
Alcaraz is through to the semi-final in Indian Wells for a second successive year, where he will face Sinner for the fifth time. It will be their first meeting since their five-hour-and-15-minute battle at the US Open where the Spaniard ultimately went on to lift the title.
That meeting led tournament director Stacey Allaster to claim it was the best match she had seen and snub other rivalries to declare Alcaraz vs Sinner as the best. Meanwhile, 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro declared them the “Federer-Nadal of the next few years.”
And the world No 2 has now explained why he enjoys playing the 21-year-old so much ahead of their next showdown in Indian Wells. “I enjoy a lot,” the teenager said of his matches against Sinner.
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“As I say couple of times, I love playing really tough matches, you know, close matches, matches with high quality. I love playing that kind of matches.” Complimenting his rival, the top seed added: “Jannik is a great player. Great ball striker, as well. So I love every match that I played against him, and of course I’m gonna watch this one.”
Alcaraz himself has previously shared his wish to establish a “great rivalry” with the world No 12, and went into detail as he explained what he “loved” about their match-up. “Well, I enjoyed that match, because I have to be really, really focused in every shot,” he said after getting his first-ever win over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Indian Wells quarter-final.
“I have to play my best. That’s why Jannik is such a great player, as well. Not only with great serve, great movements, it is because he pushed the opponent to the limit, you know. Trying to play aggressive with great shots.”
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The former world No 1 said those qualities made Sinner such a difficult opponent, and he loved being tested in their matches. He added: “And to the opponent is really tough to be focused, you know, mentally and physically during the whole match.
“Yeah, and that’s what I love playing against him, as well, you know, that it push me to the limit. I have to be really, really focused. I love to feel that.” Alcaraz also confessed that Sinner probably had more speed on his shots but picked himself as the fast one when it came to movement as he reflected on their US Open clash.
“Well, running around the court, I would say me,” he said, looking back at the match which became the latest-ever finish at the US Open as Alcaraz won at 2.50am. “Well, the shots going faster from him. You know, I would say he hits great shots and really strong ones. But running? I’m gonna pick myself.”
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