Misc Tennis

Sinner Showdown Toughest Match of Year

Alcaraz on Toughest Rival


By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, March 14, 202

Beating the bees is a prelude to Carlos Alcaraz’s toughest test: Beating the best.

Reigning champion Alcaraz dodged a swarm of bees and drilled Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1 scoring his 10th straight Indian Wells win to set up a blockbuster semifinal shodown vs. Jannik Sinner.

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A streaking Sinner swept Jiri Lehecka for his 19th consecutive victory.

Wimbledon winner Alcaraz calls Sinner “the best player in the world” and sees their semifinal rematch as his toughest test of the season.

The winner will advance to Sunday’s final and secure the world No. 2 ranking.

“Honestly, I don’t know how I’m gonna approach the match,” Alcaraz told the media in Indian Wells. “He’s the best tennis player in the world right now, without a doubt.

“I mean, I hear some declarations from Tommy Paul that was funny for me, that he’s absolutely naked right now (smiling).

“He’s playing unbelievable, no losses this year. I really enjoy watching him play. So it’s going to be a really difficult match. It’s going to be a big challenge for me and see what is my level, you know, facing him.”

Italian Davis Cup hero Sinner has won four of seven meetings with Alcaraz.

The 20-year-old Spaniard stopped Sinner 7-6(4), 6-3 in the 2023 Indian Wells semifinals. Since then, Sinner has beaten Alcaraz in both the Miami Open and Beijing semifinals.

Playing in windy conditions today, Alcaraz served superbly and broke Olympic gold-medal champion Zverev four times. Will Alcaraz be able to make inroads on Sinner’s service games?

Sinner did not face a single break point dethroning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the AO semifinals and has surrendered just 23 games reaching his fourth straight semifinal.

“The last, I think the last two matches that I have played against him I lost, so I have to adjust a little bit my game and let’s see how it’s gonna be,” Alcaraz said. “But for sure it’s gonna be the most difficult match that I’m gonna play this year.”

Photo credit: Internazionali BNL d’Italia Facebook

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