Carlos Alcaraz makes Jannik Sinner confession during Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer rivalry comparison

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz v Jannik Sinner after their match
Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, left, talks with Jannik Sinner, of Italy, after their match

Carlos Alcaraz admits he hopes that his rivalry with Jannik Sinner becomes as legendary as the one that Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer shared as he believes it will help him to improve his game constantly.

Nadal and Federer – or Fedal as they are known by tennis fans – shared one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history as they faced each other 40 times – with 24 of those coming in finals.

Nadal ended up winning their head-to-head 24-16 and one of his wins came in their first-ever meeting at the 2004 Miami Open when the 17-year-old Spaniard upset the top-seeded Federer 6–3, 6–3 in the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Federer retired in 2022 while Nadal is also in the final few years of his great career, but their rivalry transcended tennis and left a lasting legacy on rising stars like Alcaraz.

“They’ve had a very beautiful but demanding rivalry,” the two-time Grand Slam winner told

He added: “What I learned from their rivalry is that you can never fall behind or throw in the towel or be satisfied. You always have to improve, you always have to raise your level. Even if you think you’re at your highest level, that you can’t do any more, you can always do a bit more.

“That’s what they’ve shown, being at the top for so many years… Each time one of them lost to the other, he tried to be better to win the next time. And they did it for a long time, which is incredible and something to admire.”

MORE: ‘Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz seem out of the ordinary’, says former star in Federer, Nadal, Djokovic claim

Twenty years on from the first Fedal meeting, tennis is seeing a budding rivalry between Alcaraz and Sinner.

They have already met eight times with most of the matches thrilling affairs. The head-to-head is currently 4-4 with Alcaraz winning their most recent meeting in the semi-final of the Indian Wells Open.

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Many believe their rivalry could one day match that of Nadal and Federer.

Alcaraz is dreaming of a “long and beautiful future” with Sinner as he believes it will get the best out of him.

“I hope to have a rivalry like they’ve had,” he stated. “Right now, because of how people see it, it could be with Jannik.”

The world No 2 continued: “Hopefully Jannik and I both have a long and beautiful future ahead of us. I hope it will allow me to get the best out of myself and keep growing thanks to him, seeing the standard he sets.”