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2024 French Open Preview: Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner

June 7, 2024

As the French Open prepares for its first final without a Big Three member since 2004 (when Gaston Gaudio won the all-Argentine final against Guillermo Coria), the ideal matchup would feature Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. However, their current rankings and seedings dictate that one must eliminate the other in the semifinals.

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner share a deep mutual respect and admiration, maintaining a friendly relationship off the court. Yet, when they face each other on the court, their battles are fierce and intense. This burgeoning rivalry has become one of the most captivating matchups in recent times, filling the void left by the classic encounters among the Big Three over the past two decades.

Their previous encounters have been thrilling, with both players consistently giving their all. This upcoming semifinal promises to be even more intense, as the winner will take a significant step toward claiming their first French Open title. Either Alcaraz or Sinner is expected to be the overwhelming favorite in Sunday's final.

From Challengers to ATP 250s, 500s, Masters 1000s and Grand Slams, Alcaraz and Sinner have competed against each other at every level of the tour. Their most recent Major encounter was an epic battle that absolutely lived up to the hype. In the quarterfinals of the 2022 US Open, the Italian had a match point on serve in the fourth set, but Alcaraz fought back to claim a 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory, eventually winning his maiden Grand Slam title a few days later.

Head-to-head: Carlos Alcaraz leads 5-4 (4-4 on the main tour). The Spaniard also claimed a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters earlier this season, which ended Sinner's remarkable unbeaten run in 2024.

Carlos Alcaraz Betting Preview (-161 at Everygame)

The Murcia-born player faced a heartbreaking defeat in the semifinals of the French Open last year when a maiden title seemed within reach. He was the firm favorite against the legendary Novak Djokovic but succumbed to the pressure of the occasion, suffering full-body cramps and ultimately losing in four sets. The disappointment was palpable as he struggled to put up a fight against the all-time great.

The silver lining on that difficult day was the invaluable experience gained, which has since become a cornerstone of Alcaraz's growth. This hard-earned experience played a pivotal role when he secured a thrilling five-set victory over Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last year. It will undoubtedly be an asset as he prepares for his upcoming semifinal clash against Jannik Sinner, who will be making his first semifinal appearance on Parisian clay.

This year, Alcaraz seems noticeably more relaxed and is completely enjoying his time at the French Open. The Spaniard has outplayed every opponent without even hitting his peak levels yet, to be fair. Crucially, he has regained the ability to unleash his powerful forehand, which had been hindered by injury problems over the past six months, contributing to some disappointing results earlier this year.

As Alcaraz steps onto the court for this crucial semifinal, he carries with him the lessons learned from past setbacks and the confidence built from recent triumphs. Facing Sinner, a formidable opponent, will be a true test of his resilience and skill. However, given his current form and the mental fortitude he has developed, Alcaraz is well-positioned to overcome this challenge and continue his quest for his first French Open title.

Jannik Sinner Betting Preview (+125 at EveryGame)

The Australian Open champion faced his first significant challenge of this French Open campaign in the quarterfinals, passing it with flying colors by dominating an in-form Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets. Apart from a brief lapse against Corentin Moutet of France in the last-16, Jannik Sinner has been in complete control of every set he has played so far this fortnight.

Sinner's rise in the ATP rankings over the past eight months has been impressive. Following Novak Djokovic's recent withdrawal, Sinner is set to claim the world No. 1 Ranking next week. Thus, the 22-year-old will become the 29th player to reach this top position in the ATP rankings and the first Italian to achieve this milestone, marking another glorious achievement in his career.

Even though he is considered the underdog due to Alcaraz's proficiency on clay, Sinner is unlikely to be fazed. He will enter the match with full confidence, bolstered by his recent dominance over all opponents. In the season's opening Grand Slam at Melbourne Park, he was also an underdog in the semifinals against ten-time champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Nevertheless, Sinner thoroughly dominated that clash, producing a sensational performance on his way to claiming his maiden Major crown.

One potential concern for Sinner could be his fitness, which has been fragile and has let him down at crucial moments this year. Notably, this happened against Carlos Alcaraz at the Indian Wells Masters and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Monte Carlo Masters - his only two losses in the past six months.

A best-of-five sets battle with Carlos Alcaraz on clay will undoubtedly be emotionally demanding and physically exhausting. With that said, it would be crucial for the Italian to manage his body efficiently and conservatively throughout the match.

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jannik Sinner: A Redemption Arc and New Challenges

Given their well-matched skills and the high level of play they consistently bring to their encounters, this semifinal is poised to be an enthralling battle. While it's tough to predict a winner between these exceptionally talented players, Alcaraz has a slight edge due to his superior track record and prowess on clay.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 39.5 Games -111 at EveryGame for 6/10 Units