Alcaraz fell to Sinner and Djokovic will once again be number 1

The Spaniard fell in three sets against the Italian, who will play the final against Medvedev. As of Monday, the Serb will once again be at the top of the ranking.

The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz suffered a dramatic defeat this Friday against the Italian Jannik Sinner in the semifinals of Masters 1000 de Miami which will also mean handing over the ATP number one to the Serbian Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz, who needed to revalidate this trophy to maintain world leadership, fell 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 and 6-2 in a spectacular duel of three hours and three minutes in which he suffered apparent physical problems in the last set.

Sinner, number 11 in the ATP and another of the great pearls of the circuit, will fight for his first Masters 1000 title in the final on Sunday against the Russian Daniil Medvedev.

“This obviously means a lot. We both played at a very high level again. I just tried to do my best.”Sinner said after his win. “In the third set I saw that he suffered for a couple of games and I tried to put pressure there and I’m very happy about it. We both played very aggressive tennis and today (the victory) fell on my side.”he added.

At 19 years old, Alcaraz accumulated an amazing streak of 10 victories in a row without dropping a single set with which this month he lifted his first Indian Wells title, in a tour in which he eliminated Sinner in the semifinals and swept Medvedev in the final.

Devourer of records of precocity, the Spaniard aspired to become on Sunday the youngest tennis player to win in the same year in Indian Wells and Miami, an exclusive doublet for the giants of this sport known as the “Sunshine Double”.

But Friday’s loss to Sinner, his great generational rival, ruined all these plans and forced the Spanish phenomenon to cede world number one that he had recovered on March 19 with his triumph in Indian Wells.

Djokovic will return to the top of the ATP on Monday despite not having been able to travel to the United States to compete in these two Masters 1000 due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In the prelude to the double booty, the prodigy from El Palmar (Murcia) collided with a revenge-hungry Sinner, who placed the tie at three victories in his personal record.

Sinner celebrates in Miami. (Reuters)

This rivalry between the two jewels has triggered the illusion of fans in the last year, concerned about the future of tennis when the ‘Big 3’ (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) goes out completely.

In an epic confrontation at the last US Open, Alcaraz survived a duel of more than five hours against Sinner that ended around three in the morning.

On March 18, the Spaniard had beaten the Italian in the semifinals of Indian Wells but this Friday Sinner put the stop in his talisman tournamentwhere he became known in 2021 when he was runner-up at age 19.

Alcaraz and Sinner offered a high-carat first set, with some of the best points of the season enjoyed by a crowd attended by celebrities such as NBA superstars Luka Doncic and Jimmy Butler.

Alcaraz fell in Miami.  (Reuters)

Alcaraz fell in Miami. (Reuters)

The Spaniard was able to rally from a 1-4 deficit to pocket the first set in the tiebreak. Alcaraz then seemed to be heading for a new victory on the fast track that kept him hoping to be the first player in history to win the ‘Sunshine Double’ without dropping a single set.

In the second set, he was ahead 3-4 against a Sinner who, although at times seemed physically limited, resisted tooth and nail to concede a third consecutive defeat against the Spaniard.

In the ninth game, Sinner found a decisive break so that Alcaraz lost his first set of the tournament and had to fight in a third set in which the real difficulties began.

With almost two and a half hours played, Alcaraz began to make unusual mistakes and gave up his service at the first opportunity. Apparently afflicted with cramps, the Spaniard had to stop several times on the track and flex his legs trying to drive away the pain.

The scene evoked the final in February at the Rio tournament in which Alcaraz also suffered physical difficulties that allowed the British Cameron Norrie to come back.

The clash led to a roller coaster of emotions in which the Spaniard, resisting such a costly defeat, came to have a break point to level the set.

Unlike the early morning in New York, Sinner resisted this time and ended up achieving his first victory against a world number one who quotes him in the final on Sunday against Medvedev.

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