‘We needed a Carlos Alcaraz-Jannik Sinner final’ – former world No 1 laments Wimbledon draw

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner celebrate at Wimbledon in 2024
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner celebrate at Wimbledon in 2024

Tennis legend Mats Wilander has bemoaned the fact Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner cannot face each other in the final at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

The former world No 1 feels a 2024 Wimbledon final between Alcaraz and Sinner would have had “the same historical significance” as previous title matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

Sinner, who is the world No 1, and Alcaraz, who is ranked third, are both in the top half of the Wimbledon draw and could, therefore, meet in the semi-finals. Seven-time winner and No 2 seed Novak Djokovic is in the bottom half, along with fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz and Sinner have met on nine occasions — with three of their encounters coming at Grand Slam tournaments — and the Spaniard holds a 5-4 edge.

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Sinner downed Alcaraz in four sets in the fourth round at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in the duo’s first Major meeting.

Later that year, Alcaraz saved a match point en route to defeating Sinner in an epic five-set 2022 US Open quarter-final — before going on to win his maiden Grand Slam crown.

The Spaniard overcame his Italian rival in another five-setter in the semi-finals at the 2024 French Open last month, where he secured his third Major crown.

At the 2024 Wimbledon Championships on Monday, Sinner fought past Yannick Hanfmann in four sets in his opening round match, while defending champion Alcaraz downed Mark Lajal in straight sets.

Wilander, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, expressed his regret that the Wimbledon draw ruled out the possibility of a Sinner-Alcaraz showdown in the championship match.

“We’ve already had Alcaraz-Sinner in Grand Slams, but not in the final, and we’ve reached a stage where we need them,” the Swede told L’Equipe.

“Because we all know that we have two superstars here who will feel very comfortable with the idea of winning and winning again for a long time.

“They need to further establish the revolution they are leading by facing each other for a Major title.

“Moreover, if we could have had a Wimbledon 2024 final between these two, it would have had, in my opinion, the same historical significance as the Federer-Nadal finals in 2007 and 2008 or the McEnroe-Borg finals in 1980 and 1981.”

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