ATP Sensation Carlos Alcaraz Dreams Big as Near-Impossible Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Rivalry Wish Revealed Ahead of Shanghai Masters

Published 10/07/2023, 1:49 PM EDT

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Rivalry in tennis is synonymous with Fedal, though Roger Federer hung his racket and Rafel Nadal is inactive. After Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, two non-Americans gripped the tennis world with their fierce on-court rivalry. Fedal’s story is similar to Evert and Navratilova’s, as the ATP and WTA duo are close friends off the court. German legend Boris Becker once revealed that rivalry plays a massive part in success. The ATP circuit is full of young and present-generation champions figuring their way up the ladder. Rivalries are slowly creeping into the ATP circuit, and all eyes are fixated on Carlos Alcaraz.

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The Spaniard’s consistent performance has made him the youngest World No.1 in men’s tennis, and only one blooming champion has an edge over him. The brewing competition led the former World No.1 to achieve the unmatched Fedal feat.

Carlos Alcaraz gets candid on his significant Fedal dream

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The 20-year-old has triumphed over peers and champions alike in his journey to becoming World No.1. But Novak Djokovic reclaimed his throne and remains the only popular rival to Alcaraz. But Djokovic is 36, and despite thriving in his career, his retirement is inevitable. So, the tennis world is anticipating another fierce rivalry between a Spaniard and an Italian.

In an interview with ‘Tennis TV’ Alcaraz was asked what kind of rivalry he wished with Jannik Sinner. The former World No. 1 said, “Well, honestly, it would be great if it is like Rafa and Roger. It would be the dream, you know, of ourselves and of course from the tennis fans, I think, but I don’t know.” Alcaraz revealed that any combination of the Big 3 rivalry works for him if not Fedal.

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The young Spaniard said, “Rafa/Roger, Roger/Djokovic, Djokovic/Rafa, whatever it is.” But when Sinner was asked about the rivalry, he snubbed himself for Novak Djokovic. The Italian reasoned why Alcaraz and Djoker would make great rivals. The World No. 4 said, “I feel like he has achieved many things more than I did at the moment.”

Sinner described, “Me personally, I think, at the moment the biggest rivalry he has is Novak because of certain circumstances of points and world number 1 and Grand Slams throughout the last two years. This is what I think. In the future, we never know.” The Italian’s view is contrary to Alcaraz’s, as Sinner thinks other players might emerge as more significant rivals.

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Is the Italian the only rival to the young Spaniard?

The 22-year-old maintained a neutral perspective as he considered the probabilities of Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Holger Rune, and Lorenzo Musetti. Sinner said, “There are so many other players, young players. Daniil is playing incredible tennis, Sascha (Zverev) is back at 100%, Holger and Musetti, you know. There are so many great players. I can’t tell you what the rivalry would be.”

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In the China Open semi-finals, Sinner stunned the 2-time Grand Slam champion by defeating the Spaniard in straight sets. The head-to-head stats between the Italian and the Spaniard stand at 4-3 in Sinner’s favor. So, the Italian No.1 feels seven matches cannot determine a rivalry. Sinner said he and Alcaraz have ‘a very even scoring’ and technically, he is right.

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Though the Italian had the upper hand against the Spaniard, the Challenger tours stay out of the ATP head-to-head stats. Sinner and Alcaraz played in a Challenger event in Alicante, Spain. The Spaniard prevailed on his home turf. It sets the record even, and their next match decides who holds the slight edge. Alcaraz and Sinner are playing in Shanghai Rolex Masters, and considering their form, there is a good chance that a big clash is ahead.

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Written by:

Krishna Priya

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Vadlamani Krishna Priya is a tennis writer at Essentially Sports. Pursuing her passion for storytelling, she has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Helped by her cousin who introduced her to the rules and regulations of the game during her childhood, Roger Federer matches became Priya's gateway to the world of tennis.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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