It is an understatement to say that this fifth showdown between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner was expected. Especially if we have won their titanic match in the quarterfinals of the last US Open (6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3) by the Spanish wonder boy. Even Charlize Theron had the trip to add a glamorous touch to the game.
But if we saw beautiful tennis, we must admit that the emotion was absent. The mistake with, with the choice, an Alcaraz who already makes the trade speak like an old veteran or a sinner who could not find the game plan that would make his opponent doubt. Because we have the impression that the only times Alcaraz was in trouble, he owed it more to his bad choices than to his opponent’s ball. He also confessed to having been after the match “very nervous” during this first set.
He was thus the first to break into the game to lead 3-2. But Sinner took advantage of a poor play from his opponent and broke white to come back to 4-4. With a 5-6 lead, Alcaraz should save a set point on his serve. Without trembling, he overcame the task and reached the tiebreak. A decisive match in which he seemed to have 20 years of experience behind him. In money time, he was able to regain his composure, calm down some of his enthusiasm, and do whatever it took to deprive his opponent of the time it took to provoke his terrible attacks. More than enough to reel in the lead. Not enough for a great game though.
In the end not enough for a spectacular match, because tennis, we repeat, was there. But it lacked that little something extra that makes good matches exceptional. There, Alcaraz did very well what was expected of him (constant aggression, patient defense) and Sinner just evolved a notch lower (big hits in the forehand, but less efficiency in the service). Alcaraz came away 3-0 and then the crowd finally stood up after a point that was reminiscent of everything that had been expected for this game.
But it absolutely did not want to take. Untouchable for his obligations while Sinner capped 50% of the first serves, Alcaraz no longer left his opponent the slightest bit of space and won without flinching. He now leads 3-2 against his Italian rival, but the main thing is yet to come with this qualification for the final where he will find the scarecrow of the moment, the Russian Daniil Medvedev. Most importantly, if he won, Alcaraz would once again become the number 1 in the world. We salivate in advance.