Leading tennis voice makes bold Carlos Alcaraz prediction in Jannik Sinner battle

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz chat

Jannik Sinner was hailed as the new king of men’s tennis after he won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but respected commentator Nick Lester is backing Carlos Alcaraz to return to top form in 2024.

Wimbledon champion Alcaraz was the first of the new generation of tennis stars to claim a Grand Slam title when he took the 2022 US Open title and he then stunned the tennis world by ending Novak Djokovic’s reign as Wimbledon champion in last year’s thrilling five-set final on the Centre Court.

Alcaraz’s form has dipped a little since those huge Grand Slam highs, with Sinner seemingly moving ahead of the Spaniard in the race to be the next big star of the men’s game.

Yet at the age of 20, Alcaraz has plenty of time to file down the rough edges in his came and broadcaster Lester is backing him to shine at the French Open in May.

“I wouldn’t rule out Carlos to have a bigger year than Sinner from this point forward,” said Lester, who commentated on Alcaraz’s defeat against Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open in his role with Eurosport and discovery+.

“He didn’t play great against Zverev at the Australian Open, but the level that was coming at him in the first two sets was very high.

“Alcaraz is such an aggressive player and there were periods in that match where the aggression is slightly off.

“He has periods in matches where he struggles to put it all together and the guys he is up against will punish that.”

READ MORE: Jannik Sinner admits ‘my tennis is similar to Novak Djokovic’s’ game as he gives insight into studying Big 3

Sinner will also need to get used to his new status as a Grand Slam champion, yet the 22-year-old Italian appears to have a temperament that will allow him to build his career after a stunning rise up the tennis ladder in recent months.

“I had a long chat with his agent just before the final in Melbourne and we spoke about Jannik’s life,” added Lester.

“He said he is just a very normal, down to earth guy. Winning a Grand Slam won’t change him and he won’t be getting ahead of himself. I think he will cope with it just fine.

“I was also in Malaga to watch him play against Djokovic in the Davis Cup and that match was incredible.

“Novak had three match points and it seemed like the match was over, but Jannik has a game that can trouble anyone when he is on top form and he showed that in Melbourne.”

Alcaraz appeared to be a step ahead of Sinner in their early meetings, yet the Italian has won their last two clashes and the Spaniard admits he needs to raise his game to beat a rival who will be standing in his way for big titles for many years to come.

“I know the capacity of Jannik. I know his level. He’s one of the best in the world right now and he can beat anyone,” said Alcaraz.

“I think he’s going to reach the No.1 in 2024 or he’s going to give himself the chance to reach the No 1.”

The men’s game now has two new stars who are bursting through to fill the void that will be left by some retiring icons of the game.

The battles between Alcaraz and Sinner have only just begun and while the great Djokovic cannot be written off just yet, the future of tennis is now coming into sight.

Latest