Carlos Alcaraz v Jannik Sinner 2024 French Open Roland Garros Men's Semi-Final Preview as the new era collide

Friday, 07 June 2024 at 11:48
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The first of two semi-finals at the 2024 French Open in the men's draw sees Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner face off as the next generation of tennis continue to show why they are seen as the heir apparent to the Big Three throne.
Both have weathered adversity both during the tournament and even getting to Roland Garros. But as it stands whoever wins the tie between the pair as discussed in this preview will be the favourite to claim the title on Sunday in Paris.

Awesome Alcaraz puts forearm issue behind him

Carlos Alcaraz came into this tournament like Jannik Sinner full of doubt as opposed to promise with the Spaniard only playing sporadically since winning Indian Wells. Initially, the fact he didn't play at Monte-Carlo wasn't a shock given that he has never had a huge affinity with the tournament and often withdraws.
But the big concern came when he couldn't then play Barcelona or subsequently Rome after Madrid. He pushed through in Madrid to delight his home fans, but in reality a damning defeat to Andrey Rublev did more harm than good not only to his forearm but also his Roland Garros chances.
He recouped and rested. But in reality, the true extent of his injury has never formally been known as he still to this day wears a sleeve on his forearm. No doubt Nike are clamouring to get Nike Swoosh sleeves made so that at least Alcaraz stays within the branding. But he has been one of the stars of the men's draw.
Amid all of the clamour surrounding it being the most open Roland Garros in 12 years, the top four left are all expected to be there and aside from Novak Djokovic, it has all but gone to script. Alcaraz started the tournament seeing off J.J Wolf and in reality, his only major scare came at the hands of Jesper de Jong who ended up forcing Alcaraz to serve out a fourth seed. But in reality, he didn't struggle from there. He saw off Sebastian Korda, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas in a row. All have had a deal of success during the clay court season. So not the easiest route at all. But wins that also provide a statement for the former World No.1 as he looks to rubber stamp his clay court credentials with a maiden Roland Garros title.
In reality too, it is their biggest match to date against each other with both having major doubts and quelling them. Djokovic is now injured and could even have his career in doubt if recovery doesn't go well. So the new era starts its takeover at least partially on Friday. Alcaraz has proven why he is no question mark and will aim to prove it against Sinner.

Sublime Sinner recovers from hip injury in semi-final run

Jannik Sinner will face off against Alcaraz and he too came into this tournament even as a doubt in terms of whether he would play. The Italian had a hip injury which according to media back at home he was urged to recover from instead of aggravating it and potentially suffering long-term damage.
But within weeks, Sinner was back on the court alongside his coaches Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi and seemed to have no issues at all barring being a tad bit tentative which is forgivable given the potential seriousness of the injury. He has also given the same tact as his rival that he is not at 100% but he is getting there. But will it be enough to win a major title at likely around 80% of his usual self.
He also has the added caveat of becoming World No.1. He will become the top dog of men's tennis on Monday with Novak Djokovic's unfortunate demise after defeating Francisco Cerundolo. He tore his meniscus in his knee and now has gone for surgery. This will give Sinner a small jump start even if he loses first round at Wimbledon with Djokovic likely to lose all of points if he doesn't play.
Same can be said for Alcaraz who is champion of Queen's and Wimbledon so will have a lot to defend. So making hay while the sunshines will be the Sinner mo. He also saw news dominated instead of his early wins by his fledgling relationship with fellow pro, Anna Kalinskaya who has been watching him throughout the tournament.
Despite living quite a private life, Sinner finally caved in to say that he was with the 25-year-old Russian and so news has been dominated by that instead of his tennis. Both a good and a bad thing for Sinner who now has other distractions but also less focus on how he has played. But he has been superb at times.
He has seen off Christopher Eubanks and Richard Gasquet which were good if more unspectacular. But it was his wins over Pavel Kotov who he famously aggravated his injury against, Corentin Moutet where he had to come from a set down and swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov that have provided the best view of the form of the Italian.
Now Alcaraz awaits and the chance on a surface that he is known to be uneasy about to win a Grand Slam title on it. He would show that his Australian Open title was certainly no fluke whatsoever and continue to add to his legacy.
Head to Head wise, it is locked in too. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz both have four wins a piece. Alcaraz last won in the semi-finals of Indian Wells to stop Sinner's streak and has wins also again in California as well as the US Open. Sinner on the otherhand has the hand mostly in semi-finals. He won in Beijing and Miami last year as well as priorly in Umag in a 2022 clay final. Also at Wimbledon in 2022.
Two very different players since back then. But a rivalry that will likely get added to a lot in the coming years with an ebb and a flow. With it now almost being a new era, it will also be the first real show of how they compete at Roland Garros. A real exciting prospect awaits.

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