Jannik Sinner proves Alcaraz rivalry is already emulating Big Three

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Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz renewed their rivalry on Saturday in the Indian Wells semi-final. The pair were split at 2-2 from their previous meetings but it was the Spaniard who got the upper hand. Alcaraz downed his good friend 7-6(4) 6-3 to lead their head-to-head and Sinner has now explained how the teenager makes him a better player – something Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have often said about their rivalry.

Sinner and Alcaraz’s matches have already been compared to the competition between the Big Three, and they added another chapter to their budding rivalry in the Indian Wells semi-final. After the match, the Italian spoke about their latest meeting and explained how the 19-year-old was already helping him improve as a player.

“I always want to show excellent tennis and at the US Open I think we both played very well,” Sinner said of their rivalry, speaking to OK Tennis, referencing their previous meeting at the US Open. In September, the pair contested a battle that lasted more than five hours and broke a new record for latest finish in Flushing Meadows at 2.50am.

While it was Alcaraz who won that exchange and their latest meeting in Indian Wells, the world No 13 was quick to note that he has already become a better player thanks to their matches. “Between us there are always many exchanges, a lot of speed, it is seen that we know each other a little, although in each game we change something,” he continued.

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“Without a doubt, I think that if I improved it was also thanks to him, today in my head I already have what I need to improve to beat him next time.” It’s not the first time that either Sinner or Alcaraz has claimed that their rivalry is pushing them to improve, as the Spaniard said the same after losing their Umag final clash last year.

“I am going to push myself to be a better player to try to beat him,” Alcaraz told the ATP following his most recent defeat to Sinner. It’s something the Big Three members have often said of their rivalry – and something Alcaraz also said after Umag.

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He added: “I think it is going to be the same for him as well, I will push him to be a better player as Djokovic, Rafa, and Federer did when they were younger.” And Alcaraz’s wish appears to be coming true, with Sinner echoing his sentiment and proving that they were following in the footsteps of the likes of Djokovic and Nadal.

Just last month, the Serb explained how important his rivalry with Nadal was during a press conference in Belgrade and claimed that both of his Big Three rivals helped him become the player he is today. “Along with Federer, he was the most influential in shaping me into the player I am today, at the beginning of my career where I lost more than him and Federer,” he said.

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