Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner: a 'Déjà vu' rivalry with something special

Even at a distance, breaking records, the two tennis players are making their rivalry grow

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner: a 'Déjà vu' rivalry with something special
© Ryan Pierse / Staff Getty Images Sport

The new ATP No.1 Jannik Sinner won his first title as the new ATP No.1 at Halle Open but not only that. The young Italian also won his first career title on grass-courts, his 4th title of the season and 14th overall in his career. In the prestigious tournament on German grass - the only surface on which he had never won before - the Italian champion also renewed the growing rivalry with his nemesis (and friend) Carlos Alcaraz. To do so, Sinner had to overcome Hubert Hurkacz, - a true specialist on these courts - thanks to two masterfully conducted tie-breaks.

Jannik's German week wasn't actually easy. Forced into three third set matches, against Tallon Griekspoor, Fabian Marozsan and Jan Lennard Struff, Jannik then beat first the Chinese Zhizhen Zhang and then the Pole in two games.
An exponential growth for Sinner, which now delivers him to Wimbledon, which will be staged from July 1st, as the main favorite, together with Alcaraz.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Thomas F. Starke / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

And the records say a lot about these two tennis players, who try to improve themselves and improve their records by chasing each other. When one runs away, the other chases him and shortens the distance, and then extends it again. For now Carlitos is ahead both in head-to-head (5-4) and in Slam victories (3-1).

Halle was a very important testing ground for the Italian. The first tournament as number 1 in the ATP rankings. Jannik was able to withstand these pressures, maintaining the odds and bringing home the fourteenth title of his career. The fourth of his incredible season, after the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami. Thanks to this success, the Italian has joined a very small group of legends who have made the history of tennis. Sinner is in fact the eighth tennis player in the history of our beloved to win the first ATP tournament after becoming number 1 in the world.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Thomas F. Starke / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

Like him, in chronological order, only Jimmy Connors succeeded, with victory in Indianapolis (1974), Bjorn Borg in Monte-Carlo (1979), Mats Wilander in Palermo (1988), Stefan Edberg in Long Island (1990), Pete Sampras in Hong Kong (1993), Novak Djokovic in Montreal 2011, Andy Murray at the Nitto ATP Finals (2016), and finally Jannik with the success in Halle.

It will be a stimulus for both Sinner and Alcaraz, at the highly anticipated upcoming Wimbledon. On the other hand, to be the best, both the Italian and the Spaniard will always have to try to outdo each other. Does it remind you of anything? A Déjà vu like the careers of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic? Too early to say: the Big 3 also had extraordinary charisma on their side. But the two young rulers of the ATP Tour have the qualities to make their rivalry something special.

Carlos Alcaraz Jannik Sinner
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