Carlos Alcaraz - US Open 2023

Carlos Alcaraz claims he was ‘mentally out’ in defeat to Jannik Sinner

Carlos Alcaraz has reflected on his second consecutive defeat to Jannik Sinner, with the Wimbledon champion claiming that he needs ‘to learn’ if he wants to beat the Italian.

Alcaraz was beaten, 6(4)-7 1-6, by Sinner in the semi-final of the China Open and the world No.2 has suggested that he didn’t take his opportunities.

“Against players like Jannik, if you don’t take advantage of those opportunities, it’s harder to win or stay ahead on the scoreboard,” said Alcaraz. “Obviously he also played a great level of tennis, it forced me to change my game a little bit. I couldn’t do what I always did.

“I tried to play deeper, but I couldn’t. I tried to play with another tactic, but it didn’t go well in that part either. This is another thing I’ll have to learn if I want to beat Jannik.”

Although Alcaraz only won one game in the second set, he actually won only 10 points less than Sinner and in fact had five break points that he could not take advantage of.

And the 20-year-old revealed that he was ‘mentally out’, “Then in the second set I was mentally out. I was complaining too much, something that really makes it difficult for you to play at your best level.”

Alcaraz continued, “This is what happened. He is a very complete player, he did almost everything well, he pushes you to the limit with every shot. You have to hit every ball perfectly if you want to be alive in the point.

“Even if you think you hit the ball very well, he can even return it harder than yours. This is something he does really well, very well. The rest of it is also amazing and his serve is very good. It’s really difficult to play against him. I think his mobility is also very good. You have to find a way to beat him. It is complicated, that is why he is one of the best in the world.”

Alcaraz will now move on and head to Shanghai for the Masters 1000 event, where he will play either Nuno Borges or Gregoire Barrere in the second round after receiving a bye as the top seed.

Sinner will also join the Spaniard in Shanghai, but first will take on Daniil Medvedev in the final in Beijing this afternoon.

Inside the baseline…

It definitely feels as though Alcaraz has an issue when it comes to his matchup with Jannik Sinner, who has undoubtedly been a top five player in 2023. Alcaraz has only lost eight matches this year and a quarter of those have come against the Italian. On the other hand, Sinner definitely has a matchup problem when it comes to playing Daniil Medvedev, as he has lost all six previous meetings with him. The China Open will be the third final this year where they have played each other.

READ MORE: Shanghai Masters 2023 Preview: When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner head-to-head

Since arriving on the main ATP tour, Alcaraz and Sinner have played each other a total of seven times and with this latest victory the Italian has regained the advantage in their head-to-head:

Alcaraz vs Sinner: 3-4

  1. Alcaraz beat Sinner, 7-6(1) 7-5 (Paris Masters Second Round 2021)
  2. Sinner beat Alcaraz, 6-1 6-3 6(8)-7 6-3 (Wimbledon Fourth Round 2022)
  3. Sinner beat Alcaraz, 6(5)-7 6-1 6-1 (Umag Final 2022)
  4. Alcaraz beat Sinner, 6-3 6(7)-7 6(0)-7 7-5 6-3 (US Open Quarter-final 2022)
  5. Alcaraz beat Sinner, 7-6(4) 6-3 (Indian Wells Semi-final 2023)
  6. Sinner beat Alcaraz, 6(4)-7 6-4 6-2 (Miami Open Semi-final 2023)
  7. Sinner beat Alcaraz, 7-6(4) 6-1 (China Open Semi-final 2023)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.