We hadn’t seen that for 30 years at Wimbledon. Two Under-21 players faced off in week two at the All England Club on Sunday for the first time since the semi-final between Goran Ivanisevic and Pete Sampras in 1992. And this next-gen clash between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner has kept its promises. With absolute consistency and solidity, the Italian won this beautiful showdown, resisting the revolt of his Spanish rival, in four sets (6-1, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 ) and 3:35 in the round of 16 on the Center Court. In the next round, he could find three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic if he gets rid of Tim van Rijthoven.
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He needed six match points, but Jannik Sinner ended up showering Carlos Alcaraz’s hopes of a fantastic comeback in a very high quality match, especially in his second part. And with them, tennis undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of it and some great duels in prospect. Qualified for his third Grand Slam quarter-final (after Roland-Garros 2020 and the Australian Open 2022), the Italian showed unfailing composure when the dynamic seemed to escape him.
After an electric tie-break, Sinner was able to maintain his composure
The match thus took on another dimension in the third set after being outrageously dominated by Sinner. Back to the wall and led 0/40 from the start, Alcaraz then raised his level of play to save his serve and hang on throughout the round. More and more comfortable and intense, he even took the lead in the tie-break, leading 6 points to 3. But his opponent managed to dismiss these three set points, the last of which with a missile winning cross forehand. Then, the Italian obtained two match points at 7-6, then 8-7, without managing to concretize them.
In this end of the decisive game as superb as it is electric, Alcaraz then pulled out all the stops to obtain a 4th ball in the set with a sublime amortized half-volley. Winner in the snatch of this 3rd round 10 points to 8, he completely revived. Both physically and in the percussion of his strikes, the Spaniard took the upper hand at the start of the 4th round. On a wire, Sinner, who had only had one break point to save until then, then knew how to dismiss two new ones, hold his first two service games and take advantage of a slight release from Alcaraz – guilty a double fault to give up his commitment – to regain control (6-1, 6-4, 6-7, 3-1).
In the next game, the Italian found himself in difficulty again, 0/40 on his serve, but he got away with it again. Driven by a big first serve ball and marked offensive intentions, Sinner finally dismissed the 6 break points he faced in this 4th set, concluding the deal with an unstoppable cross forehand attack. Powerful, stunning on the raise and in the blows at the end of the race, he recalled in sequence the qualities of a Tomas Berdych of the great years. The sequel promises to be tough, but this Sinner is armed to face it.
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