Misc Tennis

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz will renew their rivalry in the French Open semifinals

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, right, with Jannik Sinner, of Italy.
| Photo Credit: AP

Jannik Sinner is just 22, and Carlos Alcaraz just 21, yet they’ve already built quite a rivalry heading into their French Open semifinal on Friday.

Spain’s Alcaraz owns two Grand Slam titles and spent time at No. 1 in the rankings. Italy’s Sinner won the Australian Open in January and will ascend to No. 1 next week. This will be their ninth meeting; the series is tied at 4-all.

“No one has ever played like Alcaraz. No chance. And Sinner? The same thing,” said Mats Wilander, who was ranked No. 1 and won three of his seven Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros in the 1980s. “They’re like, ‘Whoa! What and where did they come from?’”

The other men’s semifinal Friday is Norway’s Casper Ruud, twice the runner-up in Paris — to Rafael Nadal in 2022 and to Novak Djokovic in 2023 — against Germany’s Alexander Zverev, a finalist at the 2020 U.S. Open, an Olympic gold medalist and into the final four at Roland Garros for the fourth consecutive year. Zverev is involved in an ongoing court case in Berlin connected to his former partner’s accusation he caused her bodily harm.

No. 4 Zverev vs. No. 7 Ruud is not a bad matchup as far as tennis goes. But it’s No. 2 Sinner vs. No. 3 Alcaraz that is capturing all of the buzz.

That’s because they are widely considered the likely next two greats of the game and because of how exciting some of their past contests have been, most notably Alcaraz’s victory in the U.S. Open quarterfinals two years ago that ended at 2:50 a.m. after five sets of thrill-a-minute, back-and-forth action.

“I hope he and I keep playing each other for the next 10 years,” said Alcaraz, who went on to win the championship in New York that year and also triumphed at Wimbledon last year. “He makes me a better player. He makes me wake up in the morning and try to improve.”

Alcaraz arrived in Paris with some concerns about his right forearm. Sinner came in nursing a hip injury. Those issues kept them out of the clay-court Italian Open last month, but they have looked just fine at the French Open: Each has dropped just one set through five matches.

They seem to bring out the best in one another while forging a new path in their sport. Both can cover the court as well as anyone, the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Sinner with his instincts and lanky limbs and the 6-foot (1.83-meter) Alcaraz with his “How did he possibly get to that?” fleetness and reflexes.

Both are…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Tennis News, Updates, Tennis Scores, ATP, WTA, Grand Slams | The Hindu…