Jannik Sinner not at 100 per cent while Carlos Alcaraz has ‘extra confidence’ ahead of Beijing showdown

Jannik Sinner plays a shot

Carlos Alcaraz has been bolstered by a dominant victory over Casper Ruud in the China Open quarter-finals while his semi-final opponent has been unwell.

Jannik Sinner booked his place in the last four by defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 but was physically ill on court during the clash in the Chinese capital.

A drained Sinner was pleased to book his place in the last four given the struggles he has faced but admitted that he was not at 100 per cent.

He identified the need to be positive to get through tricky situations.

“I had one game 15/40, one game 0/40 where I made some unforced errors, and he also played quite aggressively. This is tennis,” Sinner said.

“Obviously it’s easier if you take those chances… in the third set I thought I handled the situation well, especially when serving at a tough moment at 4-2. I’m very happy to be in the next round.”

Alcaraz said that beating a player of the calibre of Ruud in straight sets gives a player extra confidence in their abilities.

The world No 2 will take on Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals, the first meeting between the players since the Italian upset Alcaraz at the Miami Open.

Alcaraz said that he was delighted to be able to find solutions to his opponent’s game plan early on in the match.

“I am very happy,” Alcaraz said. “To be able to beat a player like Casper in straight sets is really good. It means you are playing well.

“It is really tough, big rallies at the beginning of the match, but I am really happy with the level.

“Being able to find solutions after the start of the first set. These kind of matches give you extra confidence.”

Alcaraz and Sinner are locked at 3-3 in their head-to-head series but the Italian has been battling illness through the week.

Alcaraz advanced to his 12th semi-final of the season on Monday, boosting his chances of securing the ATP Year-End No 1 ranking for a second straight year.

When he defeated Lorenzo Musetti in the second round, the Spaniard became the first player this season to collect 60 tour-level wins, and he rapidly went to 61 with an aggressive performance against Ruud. The top seed rallied from a 0-3 deficit in the opening set, striking with too much force for Ruud to handle.

Alcaraz’s clean-hitting was underlined by the 30 winners he struck across the contest.

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