Carlos Alcaraz picked as the Wimbledon favourite over Jannik Sinner by former world No 1

Ewan West
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon

Tennis legend Mats Wilander has assessed that Carlos Alcaraz is the favourite to win the 2024 Wimbledon Championships over Jannik Sinner.

The former world No 1 identified Alcaraz’s triumph at Wimbledon last year as a reason he has the edge and also argued the Spaniard will be “better overall on different surfaces” than his Italian rival.

Alcaraz claimed the second of his three Grand Slam titles by overcoming Novak Djokovic in an epic five-set final at Wimbledon last year.

The Spaniard’s victory ended Djokovic’s 34-match winning streak at Wimbledon and made him the first player to defeat the great Serbian in a completed match at the All England Club since 2016.

Sinner also achieved his best Wimbledon result to date in 2023 by reaching the semi-finals, where he was beaten in straight sets by Djokovic.

At the 2022 Championships, Sinner lost to Djokovic in five sets — having led by two sets to love — in the last eight, after he downed Alcaraz in four sets in the fourth round.

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Sinner and Alcaraz, who are ranked first and third in the world, are both in the top half of the 2024 Wimbledon draw and could meet in the semi-finals. Seven-time champion Djokovic, who is the No 2 seed, is in the bottom half.

Wilander explained why he feels Alcaraz tops the list of favourites to win the men’s singles event at Wimbledon, which will get underway on Monday.

“I think Alcaraz most probably comes in as the favourite because of what happened last year, beating Djokovic in five sets,” Wilander told Eurosport.

“And I think he already showed himself and the other players in the locker room and the rest of the world too after the clay-court season, that winning the French Open shows that he doesn’t necessarily need a lot of matches.

“He needs hours on a grass court, but I think with that, most probably, he’s the slight favourite.

“But keep in mind that Sinner made the quarters [in 2022]. He made the semi-finals of Wimbledon already [in 2023, losing to Djokovic]. He won Halle now, so he knows how to win. He believes in himself.

“Going forward, looking into the future, it’s going to be very hard to separate who’s the favourite between Alcaraz and Sinner in any tournament, because I do think that what they’ve shown us so far in their career is if they’re anywhere close to being healthy – and they will not play unless they’re pretty close to being healthy – we’re going to have to put them as the favourites in pretty much any tournament going forward.

“Of course, Djokovic is still there and when he’s healthy, he’s one of them. But to compare the two of them with the rest of the field, they’re going to be the ones that are going to be the favourites if they show up and play, even at Wimbledon.”

The seven-time Grand Slam champion added: “I think Alcaraz might not be as dangerous against the big ball strikers as Sinner is.

“Sinner might struggle against the player who has feel, who can play, or even the style of Cameron Norrie, for example, who can hit a flat backhand that doesn’t bounce very high and is outside of Sinner’s strike zone.

“So any surface where Sinner doesn’t get the ball in his strike zone creates more problems for him than for Alcaraz. I think Alcaraz will be better overall on different surfaces, and Sinner might struggle against certain opponents on different surfaces.”

Wimbledon Day 1 order of play revealed: Carlos Alcaraz, Emma Raducanu, Coco Gauff headline action