It is an understatement to say that this fifth confrontation between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner was expected. Especially when we still have their titanic match in the quarter-finals of the last US Open (6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3) won by the Spanish wonder boy. Even Charlize Theron had the trip to bring a glamorous touch to the game.
But if we saw beautiful tennis, we must admit that the emotion was absent. The fault with, with the choice, an Alcaraz which already makes speak the trade like an old veteran or a Sinner who did not know how to find the game plan which would have made doubt his adversary. Because we have the impression that the only times Alcaraz was in difficulty, he owed it more to his bad choices than to his opponent’s ball. He also confided after the match to have been “very nervous” during this first set.
He was thus the first to break in the match to lead 3-2. But Sinner, taking advantage of a bad game from his opponent, broke white to come back to 4-4. Led 5-6, Alcaraz would have to save a set point on his serve. Without trembling, he acquitted himself of the task and reached the tie-break. A decisive game where he seemed to have 20 years of experience behind him. In the money time, he was able to regain his composure, calm some of his ardor and do what was necessary to deprive his opponent of the time necessary to trigger his terrible strikes. More than enough to turn in the lead. Not enough, however for a great match.
Finally, not enough for a spectacular match, because tennis, we repeat, was present. But it lacked that little extra that turns good matches into exceptional ones. There, Alcaraz did very well what was expected of him (constant aggression, patient defense) and Sinner evolved just a notch below (big slaps in the forehand, but less efficiency in the service). Alcaraz came away 3-0 and that’s when the crowd finally stood up after a point that was reminiscent of everything that had been anticipated before this game.
But it definitely didn’t want to take. Untouchable on his commitments while Sinner capped at 50% of first serves, Alcaraz no longer left the slightest space to his opponent and won without trembling. He now leads 3-2 against his Italian rival, but the most important thing is yet to come with this qualification for the final where he will find the scarecrow of the moment, the Russian Daniil Medvedev. Above all, if he were to win, Alcaraz would once again become world No. 1. We salivate in advance.