Miami Masters 1000: Alcaraz gives in to Sinner and Djokovic returns to being number 1

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The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz suffered a dramatic defeat this Friday against the Italian Jannik sinner in the semifinals of Miami Masters 1000 which will also mean the delivery of the ATP number one to the Serbian Novak Djokovic.

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Alcaraz, who needed to revalidate this trophy to maintain world leadership, fell 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 and 6-2 in a spectacular three hour and three minute duel in which he suffered obvious physical problems in the last set.

Sinner, number 11 in the ATP and another of the great pearls of the circuit, will fight for his first Masters 1000 title in Sunday’s final against the Russian Daniil Medvedev.

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“That obviously means a lot. We both played at a very high level again. I just tried to do my best.”Sinner said after his win. “In the third set I saw that he was in pain for a couple of games and I tried to put pressure on him and I’m very happy with that. We both played very aggressive tennis and today (the win) fell to my side.”He added.

At 19, Alcaraz has amassed an incredible streak of 10 in a row without dropping a single set with which this month he raised his first title in Indian Wells, in a tour in which he eliminated Sinner in the semifinals and overwhelmed Medvedev in the final.

Devourer of precociousness records, the Spaniard aspired to become the youngest tennis player on Sunday to win in the same year at Indian Wells and Miami, an exclusive double for the giants of the sport known as the “Double Sun”.

But Friday’s defeat against Sinner, his great generational rival, ruined all these plans and forced the Spanish phenomenon to give up the number one in the world which he had recovered on March 19 with his triumph at Indian Wells.

Djokovic will return to the top of the ATP on Monday despite being unable to travel to the United States to compete in these two Masters 1000 due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In the prelude to the double tally, the prodigy from El Palmar (Murcia) collided with a revenge-hungry Sinner, who placed the tie at three victories in his personal best.

Sinner celebrates in Miami.  (Reuters)

Sinner celebrates in Miami. (Reuters)

This rivalry between the two jewels has triggered the illusion of fans in the last year, worried about the future of tennis when the ‘Big 3’ (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) will completely shut down.

In an epic confrontation at the last US Open, Alcaraz survived a more than five-hour duel against Sinner that ended around three in the morning.

On March 18, the Spaniard beat the Italian in the Indian Wells semifinal but this Friday Sinner put an end to his talisman tournamentwhere he rose to fame in 2021 when he finished second at the age of 19.

Alcaraz and Sinner delivered a top-notch first set, with some of the best points of the season enjoyed by a celebrity-attended crowd like NBA superstars Luka Doncic and Jimmy Butler.

Alcaraz fell in Miami.  (Reuters)

Alcaraz fell in Miami. (Reuters)

The Spaniard was able to come back from a 1-4 deficit to pocket the first set in the tiebreak. Alcaraz then seemed headed for a new fast lane victory that gave him hope of being the first player in history to win the ‘Sunshine Double’ without dropping a single set.

In the second set he is ahead 3-4 against a Sinner who, even if he seemed physically limited at times, resisted tooth and nail to concede the third consecutive defeat to the Spaniard.

In the ninth game Sinner found a decisive break so much so that Alcaraz lost his first set of the tournament and had to fight in a third set in which the real difficulties began.

With nearly two and a half hours played, Alcaraz began making uncharacteristic mistakes and gave up serve at the first opportunity. Apparently afflicted by cramps, the Spaniard had to stop several times on the track and flex his legs trying to drive away the pain.

The scene evoked the February final at the Rio tournament in which Alcaraz also suffered physical difficulties which allowed the British Cameron Norrie to come back.

The clash led to a roller coaster of emotions in which the Spaniard, holding off such a costly defeat, came to a breaking point to tie the set.

Unlike the early morning in New York, this time Sinner held on and ended up getting his first win against a world number one citing him in Sunday’s final against Medvedev.

Source: Clarin

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