Toni Nadal: "Jannik Sinner will always be a tough opponent for Carlos Alcaraz"

Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach talked about the rivalry between the two young talents

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Toni Nadal: "Jannik Sinner will always be a tough opponent for Carlos Alcaraz"
© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

In an interview with AS, Toni Nadal expressed his opinion on the incredible period that Jannik Sinner is going through. In his words, Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach revealed how the Italian will always be a tough opponent for Carlos Alcaraz.

"He is already one of the top players on the ATP Tour. In Sinner, from now on, Carlos Alcaraz will always find a tough rival. He was already tough before, but after winning the Australian Open he has even more confidence. And I think we will see great match between the two," analyzed Toni Nadal.

The Spanish tennis player will have to try in every way to confirm himself as champion in Indian Wells if he wants to maintain second place in the world rankings: the Italian can attempt the attack to reach the clay court part of the season as number 2 in the ATP ranking . Not a simple but possible goal for Jannik Sinner, considering the level of play to which he is accustoming fans and enthusiasts.

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

There are many experts who have expressed their opinions on what Sinner's results could be during the 2024 season and in the short future, especially after the triumph at the Australian Open which was preceded by several months of very high level, confirmed by the final reached at the ATP Finals in Turin and the victory of the Davis Cup.

The Italian is so far the only player among the big names to still be undefeated this year, as he added the victory at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam, after the sensational triumph in Melbourne. With the 3rd place in the ATP ranking achieved, overtaking Daniil Medvedev, and the Finals pretty much in the safe, the Italian will try to maintain this high performance of results in the two ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami.

In the two events on the Californian and Florida hard courts, there will be different points to defend: Sinner will have to demonstrate his positive momentum on a surface that is congenial to him such as hard-courts.

Alcaraz praises Sinner

At the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner will compete for 2nd position in the ATP ranking, staging a long-distance duel that could one day consistently claim 1st position in the world men's ATP ranking.

To become the first Italian to go that far in history and set a new record, the 22-year-old will need to achieve the same result or do better than Alcaraz in California. Obviously winning the tournament would guarantee him overtaking.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

In an interview with the newspaper Marca, Alcaraz analyzed Sinner's growth, reiterating the great esteem he has for him.

"I have always said that there is no secret. Sinner has worked very hard and it shows. In every tournament he is very focused on the things he has to do, he is a hard worker," explained the Spaniard.

"I said this many times when speaking with Juan Carlos Ferrero. If I compare him to the Sinner before, he has changed, he has become a great professional: he was one before and now even more so. He works every day and has clear ideas. Daily work pays off and that's what happened with Jannik. I'm happy for him and his team," added Alcaraz.

Alcaraz reassured all his fans after the ankle injury that forced him to retire in Rio de Janeiro. The MRI showed a grade II lateral sprain and the Spaniard will first take part in the exhibition with Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas and, subsequently, in the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, as scheduled.

On the eve of the ATP Master 1000 tournament in Indian Wells starting on March 6, the two Spanish tennis players will compete in this exhibition tomorrow, Sunday March 3, 2024 in Las Vegas, inside the Michelob ULTRA Arena of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The match will be played at 12.30pm Las Vegas time, i.e. 9.30pm Italian time. As mentioned, the match can only be followed live via the Netflix streaming platform. Nadal and Alcaraz compete after a difficult period for both. This start of 2024 certainly hasn't been one to remember for either of the two tennis players.

Both players will certainly use this match as high-level training to arrive in the best possible conditions at Indian Wells for the Masters 1000 tournament. Nadal, as is known, had started his season in Australia at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane.

There is a lot of talk about the ATP calendar being too crowded with Andy Murray who has been very critical on the topic of performances but the two Spanish players on Sunday will give life to what has been called The Netflix Slam.

Jannik Sinner Carlos Alcaraz Rafael Nadal