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Jannik Sinner against Carlos Alcaraz, the era of duelists in the semi-finals at Roland Garros opens

The duelists. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. Number one in fact, number one for ambition and attitude. In fact, Alcaraz has already occupied the first position and is currently third in the ATP rankings. They compete in the present (today, semi-finals of Roland Garros), they contract out the future, they put their stamp on it. And with a volley, meanwhile, they sent the past far away. That is Djokovic, Federer, Nadal. The gods leave, the show is over, the curtain falls. Another film begins, another era begins.

The luck we have, yes: at least ten years of intersecting and fiery challenges between these two phenomena await us. In a sport made of silences (less and less to tell the truth considering the hubbub in the stands of Roland Garros) and white gestures (here too: only nostalgia remains white), in a discipline in which the game is measured in expectations , here are these two young men little more than twenty-year-olds kissed by grace have become part of our lives. They did it with the authority of two orchestra conductors who demand the attention of the spectators – they demand it in spite of everything – and at the end of the performance they ask for applause. But they shake hands, because they respect each other.

But they control each other, guessing each other’s strengths and limitations. Theirs is the rivalry that tennis needed. To be even more transversal, to broaden the horizon. The truth known by Sinner and Alcaraz is that you only grow when you look into each other’s eyes and discover the same spark.

Extreme champions, predestined. A gift from the tennis gods, crumbs of shooting stars. Contrast of characters and styles. So close, yet so far away. Two years (2001/2003 the years of birth), ten centimeters (193/183) and three kilos (77/74) and a girlfriend (Anna Kalinskaya) in favor of Jannik. Officially, Carlos does not have a partner.

Italian, Spanish. Forty-three years in two. 13 trophies won each so far. 1 Slam for Sinner, the Australian Open 2024. 2 Slams for Calcaraz: Us Open 2022 and Wimbledon 2023. Head-to-head matches so far: 8, no holds barred. Balance sheet: 4 wins each. The first time dates back to 2019, at the Challenger in Alicante: the victory was taken by Alcaraz. That today, faced with the new king of tennis, he says: «I already know that I will have to run like it’s a marathon: Jannik has no weak points».

Against each other. Like Federer and Nadal, in the early days, when it all began. Only one certainty: Sinner vs Alcaraz will always be a 50/50 match. Sometimes the Italian will win, other times the Spaniard. Alcaraz exploded first, Sinner reached him. They are of another category, they are of another pasta. Red clay, concrete, grass, indoor: they will share trophies, like brothers unwrapping presents under the Christmas tree. Now they travel in pairs, like cyclists in pairs, who after the curve have separated everyone and are going on the run.

Tennis time has found a balance, there is a new world to discover. We don’t know who will arrive first, in the answer – which isn’t there today – the secret of the duel is kept. But they will go together, this is the consolation of those who love tennis.

Source: Vanity Fair

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