ATP Paris Masters: Jannik Sinner vs Carlos Alcaraz Preview

Carlos Alcaraz in action at the ATP Paris Masters.

An exciting matchup awaits us as Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are all set to lock horns on Wednesday at the ATP Paris Masters.

Monday, November 1, 2021, was a special day for Sinner as he broke into the Top 10 in the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. He is currently ranked 9th in the world and is in eighth place in the race to qualify for ATP Finals in Turin this year. Having won four titles, the Italian young gun is enjoying a breakthrough season so far this year. His triumph in Antwerp and his semifinal run in Vienna propelled him to the 9th spot in the rankings. He will hope to continue his ascend at the final Masters 1000 of the year in Paris-Bercy.

Sinner is currently riding on a high but will face an in-form and exuberant opponent in Alcaraz in his opener. Many experts have already touted Alcaraz as the next Rafael Nadal. The 18-year-old Spaniard’s performances in the recent past have certainly lived up to those expectations. Alcaraz was exceptional in Vienna, taking down Andy Murray, Matteo Berrettini, and Dan Evans before losing to the eventual winner Alexander Zverev in the semis. He played (and won) another epic in his opener in Paris against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Alcaraz was leading 4-2 in the first set but squandered his advantage, relinquishing the opening set in a tiebreak. However, Alcaraz didn’t lose hope and showed enough resilience to weather the storm. He edged past the home hope 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 7-5 in 2 hours, and 53 minutes of scintillating tennis on Center Court on Tuesday.

Their second-round clash at the ATP Paris Masters will mark the first meeting between the two promising young talents, but almost certainly not their last. While Alcaraz can draw a lot of inspiration from his victory against Herbert, he must not overlook the chances he missed in his opener. The young Spaniard was unable to consolidate on the early break advantages that he had, not only in the first set but also in the third. He cannot afford any dip in intensity against Sinner, who is currently in top form and full of confidence.

Alcaraz and Sinner both have a strong baseline game and one can expect to witness enticing baseline exchanges between the two probable future stars of the game. Throughout his journeys in Antwerp and Vienna, Sinner not only demonstrated aggression but also tremendous defensive skills from behind the baseline.¬†Alcaraz certainly possesses the firepower and variety to tackle Sinner in the baseline exchanges. However, he must resort to an aggressive approach and emphasize mixing things up to unsettle the young Italian’s rhythm.

The 18-year-old Spaniard can take a leaf out of Frances Tiafoe’s book by willing to take more risks and seize the opportunity to implement the occasional drop shots. Tiafoe got better of Sinner in the semifinal in Vienna. Alcaraz’s finesse at the net potentially can turn the tide in his favor against Sinner. He is hopeful of recording another Top 10 win after getting better of Matteo Berrettini at the quarterfinal in Vienna.

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz possess all the right ingredients to blossom into the future stars of the game. They appear to have found their feet on the tour and are in a tremendous form which makes their face-off even more appealing. On Wednesday in Paris, the 20-year-old Sinner will play in his first match as a Top 10 player and might feel the burden of expectations. On the other hand, Alcaraz can draw inspiration from his recent performances in Vienna, aiming to go as deep into the tournament as possible at the Paris Masters 1000.

Can Sinner conquer Alcaraz in his Paris Masters debut match or will Alcaraz stun Sinner to continue his meteoric rise this year?

Main photo:
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