Novak Djokovic’s rivals link up in off-season after getting Aus Open prediction

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner have linked up for an off-season training session and exhibition match as they prepare to try and stop Novak Djokovic in 2024. The two young stars are the last two men to have beaten the world No 1, with Sinner getting wins over Djokovic at the Davis Cup and ATP Finals last month while Alcaraz stunned him in the Wimbledon final. The duo have also been tipped to enjoy success at the Grand Slams next season, with the Australian Open less than a month away.

Preparations for the 2024 tennis season are in full swing, with players jetting off to the likes of Miami, Monte Carlo and the Middle East to begin training ahead of the Australian Open. Sinner, the man who ended the year in arguably the best form, opted for a different location as he flew to the Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy in Alicante.

Ferrero is the coach of Alcaraz, one of Sinner’s main competitors. And the pair took advantage of being in the same place at the same time as they enjoyed a practice session together on Thursday before competing in a friendly exhibition match on Friday. “A good day of practice,” the Italian wrote alongside a photo of both men and their teams.

Although Sinner and Alcaraz have already formed an exciting rivalry – facing off seven times in their young careers – both men are also currently the biggest threats to Djokovic’s dominance. Joining forces to help each other train ahead of next season could be a clever idea as they bid to try and end the world No 1’s stranglehold at the Grand Slam tournaments.

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Djokovic is a 10-time champion at the upcoming Australian Open and has not lost a match at the event since 2018, when he was carrying an elbow injury. Alcaraz and Sinner have already been backed to enjoy success at the Majors next year and their decision to practice together will keep them fresh and ready to face top opponents come January.

“I think the Australian Open is a perfect fit for Alcaraz because of the conditions, because of the way the ball bounces, because it can be hot, because of night sessions where there is a kind of atmosphere that’s dramatic,” Alex Corretja recently told Eurosport, backing the Spaniard to enjoy a successful return to Melbourne.

Alcaraz was forced to miss the 2023 Australian Open through injury and Corretja believes he will be hungry to prove himself at the tournament. He added: “I think if he arrives well and with some preparation matches it’s going to be perfect. He can play a very good Australian Open and he will be eager as an opportunity to seize knowing he didn’t play last year, the last time he played there, he ended up losing a very close match.”

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The retired former world No 2 also thought that Sinner could become the latest first-time Grand Slam champion next season following a successful end to the year. The Italian picked up titles in Beijing and Vienna before storming to the final of the ATP Finals.

He beat Djokovic in the group stage – ending the world No 1’s 19-match winning streak – but the Serb got revenge in the final. Just days later, however, Sinner was able to defeat Djokovic again in the semi-final of the Davis Cup. The world No 4 then helped Italy win the World Cup of men’s tennis for the first time in 47 years.

“You need something special to win Majors. And I think Jannik, he’s been working on that and it’s paying off,” Corretja said of the 22-year-old. “He’s ready and I think he will be ready to win a Major. [In] ‘24, why not? If not, ’25, but I think he’s going to be definitely 100% ready.”

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