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Carlos Alcaraz goes full-stretch on Friday at the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itau.

Alcaraz On 'Beautiful' Rivalry With Sinner

The 19-year-old feels a unique energy when facing the Italian

Despite leaving south Florida without defending his title and falling from World No. 1, Carlos Alcaraz is looking forward to an extended rivalry with Jannik Sinner after they put on another thrilling match in Friday’s semi-final at the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itau.

Alcaraz, who won this month’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, was gunning to be the first player to win the ‘Sunshine Double’ since Roger Federer in 2017. Despite winning the opening set, Alcaraz saw Sinner rally to a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 victory against the 19-year-old, who suffered from cramps early in the third set of the high-quality three-hour, one minute contest.

Instead of focussing on the loss, the Spaniard was already looking forward soon after the match, talking of claiming the Indian Wells-Miami double in the future, and to an era in which he and Sinner push each other to higher and higher levels of excellence.

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“I had [an] opportunity to get the Sunshine Double, but I think I’m going to have more years to try to get it,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. “But all I can think about is to improve my level to beat Jannik.”

Still early in their careers, Alcaraz and Sinner have displayed several epic battles, including at the 2022 US Open, where the Spaniard won a five-set quarter-final before claiming his maiden Grand Slam title later that week. On Friday, Sinner levelled their ATP Head2Head at three a piece.

Throughout their six tour-level meetings, tennis fans have glued their eyes to the television from first ball to last. Even Alcaraz stated that there’s something unique about his growing rivalry with the 21-year-old.

“I feel something different about the crowd when I play against Jannik,” Alcaraz said. “I think around the world there’s probably all the people watching this match because I think it's really beautiful to watch.

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“It was an incredible crowd. I felt the energy, the love from the people when I was down. So for me it's unbelievable to have this kind of feeling, this kind of support. It's indescribable.”

After claiming his third ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells two weeks ago, Alcaraz had a chance to become the youngest male player to win both legs of the Sunshine Double in a single season.

The 2022 Miami champion will rue the two break points he had at 4-3 in the second set. Had he converted one of them, the Spaniard would have served for the match in an attempt to extend his winning streak to 11 matches.

“I had my opportunities to break in the second set and serve for the match, but really against Sinner it’s always a tough battle,” Alcaraz said. “It's tough to put into words but I think it was a great match for both. It was a really tough, physical match.”

But Alcaraz won’t let the defeat bother him for too long.

“After the match, for like 15, 25 minutes I can't talk to anyone. Complaining a lot, everything is like s%*! for me,” Alcaraz said, while cracking a smile.

“After 20, 25 minutes, I start thinking about positive things, about the match, the season, the tournament, and talking with my team, my family. After that, [I start] to have good things on my mind. I come [to the press conference] smiling.”

Boasting an 18-2 record in 2023, Alcaraz will next be in action at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which begins 9 April.

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