Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner linked up recently to train together in a surprising crossover. On a trip to Spain, the Italian visited the Juan Carlos Ferrero Tennis Academy in Villena, where the World No.2 practices. Their session together went against what legends like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have said about being close and training with your primary rivals.
Media reports in Italy previously reported that Sinner and Alcaraz would play an exhibition game in the latter’s home country before Christmas. However, as it turns out, the prodigious duo connected only to practice together. With the 2024 season on the horizon, Alcaraz and Sinner took to the court in the academy run by the Spaniard’s coach.
Ferrero was present as Alcaraz exchanged shots with Sinner. However, the former World No.1 will not be travelling to the 2024 Australian Open with the 20-year-old because of health issues. Sinner’s coach Simone Vagnozzi, the ATP Coach of the Year alongside Darren Cahill, attended the session with the World No.4. After the practice, both players shared posts on Instagram, thanking each other.
The pair evidently had a good time training with each other. Their session dispelled what Federer and Djokovic believed about being friends and practising with rivals. In a recent interview, the Serb revealed he is not close with Federer or Rafael Nadal. He said rivals cannot be friends during their playing years because of the competition between them. Similarly, Federer disclosed he stopped training with his Big 3 rivals since he feared they would understand his ‘secrets’ (via Express).
Regardless of what the legends believe, Alcaraz and Sinner seem to be good friends despite being immediate competitors. However, they are still young with nascent careers. Only in 2023 did Sinner break through and establish himself as an elite contender. Federer and Djokovic shared their opinions after over a decade of rivalry. Their experience cannot be discounted. Hence, it would not be a surprise if Sinner and Alcaraz also grow apart in the coming years as their competition gets more intense.
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner remain close; full of praise for each other
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are considered the future flagbearers of tennis. While the former already has two Grand Slams and multiple records to his name, the Italian announced himself as a top-tier player with an immense season in 2023. It is not uncommon for elite athletes to be on frosty terms with their primary rivals. The young stars, though, seem close.
Sinner once commented that he and Alcaraz are good friends off court. He said they push each other to play their best game on the court. He claimed that he looks forward to facing the World No.2 and is honored to share the court with him (via Tennis World USA). Alcaraz, meanwhile, pegged his ‘buddy’ to become the World No.1 and win a Slam in 2024 (via TennisMajors).
Alcaraz and Sinner have squared off seven times, with the latter leading 4-3. The Spaniard won their first clash of 2023 whereas Sinner bagged their next two. Their Miami Masters semi-final was ranked as one of the best matches of the year by the ATP. Neither of them has signed up for any warm-up event to the 2024 Australian Open. Hence, they will likely be seen in action directly in the main event. Yet another thrilling face-off could be on the cards as both of them will challenge for the trophy.