Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesdsay June 5, 2024

Paris –Rivalry renewed!

Sadness lingered in Paris on Wednesday, when news of Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal hit the press. The three-time champion, who was forced to pull out with a knee injury, was certainly the main attraction on the men’s side this year, but the show must go on without him.

Tennis Express

And when it comes to the show, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner have a knack for getting fans excited about the future of the sport. And so it will be once again on Friday when the pair meet for a ninth time, with a spot in Sunday’s final on the line.

Alcaraz delivered a 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Tuesday, to reach the final four in Paris for the second consecutive year.

“It's always special being able to play a semifinal in a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said. “I'm really, really excited to play Friday against Jannik again. It’s a really difficult challenge. I'm ready for that. Hopefully everyone is going to enjoy that match as much as I'm going to do it.”

Alcaraz defeated Sinner in their lone meeting in 2024, in the Indian Wells semifinals, to level the all-time head-to-head between the pair at four victories apiece.

The pair's rivalry has become known for electricity, with points played at breakneck speed, characterized by an improbable level of tennis.

Earlier on Tuesday Sinner defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(3) to reach his maiden semifinal on the Parisian clay. The 22-year-old also learned that he will become the ATP’s No.1 on Monday, as Djokovic needed to reach at least the final to have a chance of holding on to the top ranking.

It’s one of a long list of remarkable achievements for Sinner, who won his maiden major title at this year’s Australian Open. He will be the first Italian to ever hold the No.1 ranking.

Alcaraz told reporters that he cherishes their battles, even if Sinner presents difficult challenges for him.

“Everything he does, he does it perfectly,” Alcaraz said. “The way that he hits the ball is unbelievable. The way he moves, it's really, really well. He pushes you to the limit in every ball, in every point. I think it is the hardest thing to face Jannik.

“At the same time I love that. I love these kinds of matches. I love this kind of challenge to have a really difficult battle against him. The previous matches that we've played I think it was like that, and I love that.”

Alcaraz and Sinner have met just once on clay, with Sinner taking a straight-sets decision over the Spaniard in the 2022 Umag final. They have met twice at the majors, with Sinner defeating Alcaraz in 2022 at Wimbledon (round of 16) and Alcaraz defeating Sinner in an epic five hour and 15 minute quarterfinal at the US Open in 2022.

That clash finished at 2:50 AM and goes down as the latest finish in US Open history. Alcaraz went on to win his first of two major titles that year, and became the youngest No.1 in ATP history on the Monday after the tournament.

“Probably a little bit more nerves before facing him,” the 21-year-old Spaniard said. “I'm not going to lie. I mean, he probably is one of the most difficult challenges that we can face in tennis right now. I think he's the best player in the world. I think, no, he is No. 1 right now…

“It's going to be an interesting one. As I said, the matches that we've played before has been unbelievable games. I think everybody wants to watch this match. When the draw came out, I think everybody wanted Jannik on my side playing the semifinal. Let's see how it's going to be, but I think it's going to be great for tennis and for the fans.”

Casper Ruud, who benefited from Novak Djokovics withdrawal on Tuesday, will face either Alexander Zverev or Alex de Minaur in the top half semifinal. Zverev and De Minaur will play the night session on Wednesday in Paris.