Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner renewed their rivalry on Saturday in the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals, where a title would see Alcaraz return to world number one.
The 19-year-old Spaniard and 21-year-old Italian are 2-2 in four previous meetings, but it was Alcaraz who came out on top in their most dramatic clash – a five-set US Open quarterfinal that lasted five hours and 15 minutes, this 2:50 am Latest ends in US Open history.
Alcaraz would go on to lift the trophy and become the youngest world number one in the history of the rankings.
He says adding a third Masters 1000 title to his resume is more important than dislodging Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings, but Sinner could prove to be a serious handicap for either.
“I’m in a lot better shape than I was a year ago,” Sinner said after defeating fifth-ranked defending champion Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals.
“I know my body better too, when to exercise or when to hit the gym.
“Last year was tough mentally too, so this year I feel a lot better. I’m in good shape now.”
Alcaraz, whose 2023 campaign began late in February due to injuries, has made rapid ground, claiming a title in Buenos Aires and reaching the final in Rio.
He said he is ready for the challenge he faces from Sinner, who is seeking his maiden Masters 1000 title. It will be his second title of the season after winning in Montpellier last month.
“Great fight,” Alcaraz said of his matches so far. “I’m going to enjoy that match.”
– Mighty Medvedev –
The winner of the match will face either hot Russian Daniil Medvedev or Frances Tiafoe, who are aiming to follow in compatriot Fritz’s footsteps to the title in the California desert.
Medvedev, who never suited the slow hard courts of Indian Wells, still managed to reach the last four for the first time as he goes for a fourth straight ATP title after wins in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.
It has been a tough week for the world number six, who twisted his right ankle in a three-set win over Germany’s Alexander Zverev and needed attention for a cut thumb after his quarter-final win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Was.
Medvedev, his winning streak at 18 matches, doesn’t matter that the longer the streak, the more the pressure mounts.
“I like pressure, because when pressure comes, the better results you give, the more pressure,” said former world number one Medvedev, who dropped out of the top 10 after a disappointing start to the season.
Meanwhile, Tiafoe, chasing his first Masters 1000 title, has reached the semi-finals without dropping a set, which would see him break into the top 10 for the first time.
The American, who has lost all four matches against Medvedev, believes his big serve and forehand can break down Medvedev’s defence.
After defeating former champion Cameron Norrie in the quarterfinals, Tiafoe said, “I’ve been able to take rackets out of players’ hands.” “I’ve grown a lot as a player and it’s showing. I’m really happy with my progress.”