Carlos Alcaraz’s coach compares Jannik Sinner’s impact to emergence of Novak Djokovic

Ewan West
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz chat
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz at the net

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has likened the impact Jannik Sinner is having on Carlos Alcaraz to when Novak Djokovic emerged to challenge Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 

The former world No 1 explained that the success Sinner is having is providing added motivation for Alcaraz in the same way Djokovic’s win at the 2023 ATP Finals did.

Alcaraz has achieved huge success in his career to date, having claimed two Grand Slam titles and become the youngest player to be ranked ATP world No 1 after winning the 2022 US Open.

The 20-year-old Spaniard has experienced a more challenging period since his stunning triumph at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships in July – which was the last title he won. The world No 2 reached his only final since his All England Club victory at the Cincinnati Masters in August.

From around the same time Alcaraz’s dip started, Sinner has reached a new level and had the best period of his career to date. After reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, Sinner won titles in Toronto, Beijing Vienna, was a runner-up at the ATP Finals in Turin, and led Italy to Davis Cup glory to end his season.

The Italian has continued his stunning form into 2024 as he won the Australian Open title to claim his maiden major crown last month, before winning the Rotterdam Open last week. The 22-year-old,  who is on a 15-match winning streak, climbed to a career-high ranking of world No 3 this week.

Alcaraz was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open quarter-finals, before exiting at the semi-final stage of the Argentina Open last week after a defeat to Nicolas Jarry.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s coach hails Novak Djokovic for adapting as he makes Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer claim

In an interview with La Nacion, Ferrero was asked whether Sinner’s “explosion” was an alarm for Alcaraz, or an extra source of motivation.

“We already saw Sinner working very well two years ago and we knew that this moment was going to come; He has been knocking on the door for a long time, we saw him playing tennis to win Grand Slams,” the 2003 French Open winner said.

“Physically, maybe it was a little doubt because he was a very thin player, but once he trained and matured, he achieved it. He is a player to keep in mind for all tournaments, an important candidate to win, just like Carlos.

“I think his appearance was a bit like when Rafa and Roger appeared, who between them were pushing the car, until then Novak came in, who is now a bit the one pushing Carlos and Sinner.

“I told Carlos last year, when Novak won the Masters (ATP Finals) with that level: ‘Have you seen that? Now what we have to do is train like animals to reach Novak’s level. Jannik is going to do it and we have to do it.’ And he answered me: ‘Yes, yes, yes, let’s go with everything.’

“In other words, it is a motivation. It’s contagion. Between the three of them, and they have to pass to the others, to [Alexander] Zverev, to [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, to [Holger] Rune, they have to feed each other.”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz uses fitting word to describe just how difficult it is to beat the in-form Jannik Sinner