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Rivalry Renewed: A Brief History Of Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jannik Sinner, Episodes 1 Through 7
4 Min Read · March 15, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. The names, when lumped together, inspire jaws to drop and excitement to peak. Anyone who has watched the pair of rocketing stars contest one of their heated battles knows that this rivalry is a cut above. 

The pair will meet in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals for the second consecutive year on Saturday, and to celebrate the fact that episode eight is here – we bring you a bite-sized recap of their first seven clashes.

Alcaraz v Sinner | Head-to-Head: Sinner Leads 4-3

Meeting #1: Paris 2021 – Round of 32 | Alcaraz 7-6 (1), 7-5

Tennis fans didn’t know it at the time, but October of 2021 would mark the start of an unforgettable rivalry between the two rising forces of men’s tennis. Alcaraz, ranked 35 and still 18 years of age, survived two tough sets to take down the then No.9-ranked Italian in straight sets. 

“All I can say is that I hope to play more battles against him, and battles like this one,” Alcaraz said after his victory. 

His wish would come true… 

Meeting #2: Wimbledon 2022 – Round of 16 | Sinner, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3

By the next time they met, Alcaraz was already in the Top 10, while Sinner had slipped to No.13. But what’s in a ranking? Sinner didn’t take long to take a piece out of Alcaraz as he dominated the Spaniard on the hallowed Wimbledon grass in the first two sets, and weathered a late push as Alcaraz fought back to take an epic third set tiebreak.

“I think what we showed today, it's a great level of tennis, great attitude from both of us,” Sinner said after his first win over Alcaraz. “I don't know in the future what's going to happen, but I think it's just great for tennis to also have some new names, new players.”

Meeting #3: Umag 2022 – Final | Sinner 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1

Later that season came the pair’s first final and their first meeting on the red clay – also their first meeting in which both players held a Top 10 ranking. 

It was Sinner who surged to victory to win the pair’s first deciding set at Umag. 

Meeting #4: US Open 2022 – Quarterfinal |  Alcaraz 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-3

After three heated battles, and a whole lot of hype, the pair took their place under the bright lights of New York City and gave the fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium a reason to go crazy. 

Alcaraz saved a match point and defeated Sinner in a match that finished at 2:50 AM and went down as the latest finish in US Open history. 

It was Playstation tennis. A new level of fast-twitch athleticism and ball-striking that  – crazy as it sounds – rivaled that of the Big Three. 

After the five hour and 15-minute tussle, victorious Alcaraz would parlay the victory into a run to the US Open title, where he became the first teenager to win a Slam since his idol Rafael Nadal in 2006. 

“I had some tough losses, for sure,” Sinner lamented. “This one is in the top list.” 

Meeting #5: Indian Wells 2023 – Semifinal |  Alcaraz 7-6(4), 6-3

The dust of that US Open semifinal took a half-year to settle, and during that time fans were drooling for the next edition of the rivalry. It would come in Tennis Paradise, on Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where Alcaraz and Sinner would contest their first ever BNP Paribas Open clash. 

Meeting #6: Miami 2023 – Semifinal | Sinner 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2

Still smarting from an Indian Wells performance that greatly disappointed him, Sinner was back and firing all cylinders as he traded blows with Alcaraz in the Miami humidity two weeks later. The Italian turned the tides with blistering pace and power, notching a satisfying three-set victory to level the pair’s head-to-head at three apiece.

Meeting #7: China Open 2023 – Semifinal | Sinner 7-6(4), 6-1

Their most recent meeting in the Chinese capital continued the trend that Sinner started in Miami, but there was a twist: Sinner earned his first ever straight-sets win over Alcaraz. 

Meeting #8: Indian Wells, 2024 – Sinner Or Alcaraz???? 

Get your popcorn ready – episode 8 is coming to Indian Wells on Saturday!

And some more highlights to finish it off...

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