Carlos Alcaraz - Indian Wells 2023

Carlos Alcaraz labelled a ‘phenomenon’ by ‘biggest’ rivals coach

Carlos Alcaraz has been branded a ‘phenomenon’ by Jannik Sinner’s coach, Simone Vagnozzi, who has claimed that he is better than Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for his age.

Alcaraz reclaimed his spot at the top of the rankings after winning his first Indian Wells title, where he beat 21-year-old Sinner in the semi-final.

Sinner, who has beaten Alcaraz twice in their five matches against each other, has been coached by fellow Italian Vagnozzi since February of last year and has made a good start to 2023, including winning a seventh career title in Montpellier.

Vagnozzi has spoken about the ATP No.1 Alcaraz to Ubitennis, “We’re talking about a phenomenon. At 19 no one played like that, not even those we call sacred monsters like Djokovic, Rafa or Federer. No one had the completeness that he has at 19.”

He continued, “If you watch an Alcaraz match when he was 15, you see that he could do more or less all the things he does even now: play the drop shot, comes to the net, serves and volleys, similar to what happens now, so it is a path that is completing over time.”

Alcaraz, himself, has described the Sinner as his biggest rival, but Vagnozzi has suggested that his player is a few steps behind the Spaniard.

“We must consider that he [Alcaraz] comes from more important experiences, he has won a Grand Slam, three Masters 1000, so even if he is younger he is probably more ready to play certain games,” said Vagnozzi.

Vagnozzi added, “Alcaraz is ahead at the moment, but if we get to play against him we can play it.”

Alcaraz and Sinner could be set for a sixth battle in their exciting rivalry this week, with both players favourite to win their Miami Open quarter-final matches before another potential meeting in the semi-final.

Despite suggesting Alcaraz is ahead of his pupil, Vagnozzi has big hopes for Sinner, “Jannik has been very consistent lately – at the Australian Open, in Rotterdam and in Montpellier. In Indian Wells he reached the semi-finals and delivered a tight match against Alcaraz. That means we’re on the right track… But our main goal isn’t to reach the semi-finals. But to win one of those tournaments.”

Sinner has reached the final at the Floridian Masters event before, when he lost to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2021 final, and will be looking to reach the semi-final later today when he plays Emil Ruusuvuori.

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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.