Carlos Alcaraz: Spaniard says Jannik Sinner is best tennis player in world right now

Carlos Alcaraz meets Jannik Sinner in the semis with the Australian Open champion having won their last three tour-level meetings; you can watch Indian Wells live on Sky Sports plus over 80 tournaments a year, including the US Open, exclusively live on Sky Sports Tennis

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Darren Cahill believes Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner will have a great rivalry for years. He also backs Daniil Medvedev to edge Tommy Paul in the second semi-final on Saturday

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner meet for a spot in the BNP Paribas Open final at Indian Wells on Saturday with the Spaniard calling the newest Grand Slam champion the best in the business right now.

Alcaraz may have struggled to find any consistently since winning first title since Wimbledon last July but he looked back at his best as he swatted aside a swarm of bees and Alexander Zverev to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Thursday.

Zverev did not play badly but Alcaraz’s all-court game was just too good and the world No 2 must now raise his levels against red-hot Sinner, live from 8.30pm on Sky Sports Tennis.

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Highlights of Carlos Alcaraz impressive victory against Alexander Zverev

Two-time Grand Slam champion Alcaraz has dropped just one set en route to the last four but Sinner is in the form of his life.

Australian Open winner Sinner continued his sizzling start to the year taking down Jiri Lehecka and extending his 2024 win streak to 16.

“Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to approach the match,” said Alcaraz. “He’s the best tennis player in the world right now, without a doubt… He’s playing unbelievable, no losses this year. I really enjoy watching him play.

“It’s going to be a really difficult match. It’s going to be a big challenge for me to see what my level is facing him.”

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Alcaraz showed off his superb football skills when warming up at Indian Wells

Alcaraz has won 10 consecutive matches in Indian Wells. He is into his eighth Masters 1000 semi-final, in which he will meet Sinner, who has beaten the two-time major champion in four out of their seven meetings.

“The past two matches that I have played against him I lost, so I have to adjust a little bit my game and let’s see how it’s going to be. For sure it’s going to be the most difficult match that I’m going to play this year,” said Alcaraz.

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Highlights of Jannik Sinner’s dominant win against Jiri Lehecka

But Sinner will feel he has the return skills in his locker to enable him to extend his 4-3 lead in meetings against the Spaniard.

“Yeah, Carlos, it’s always fun to play with him. We are good friends off the court. On the court, we just try to give 100 per cent,” said the Italian.

“I think we have a good attitude on court. Usually the matches are good. Last year against him, especially here on this court, I struggled a lot. He played much better than me, which then two weeks after I played Miami against him where I won, so, let’s see.”

Image: Daniil Medvedev is seeking to become the sixth consecutive first-time Indian Wells champion

Daniil Medvedev, who reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final since Rome last May, will take on 17th seed and home favourite Tommy Paul following the Alcaraz vs Sinner showdown.

“Tommy is really strong. He has been [near] the top 10 for a long time,” Medvedev said of world No 12 Paul, who he has beat in both of their meetings.

“He’s playing good so that I know if I want to try to win, I need to be at my absolute best and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Cahill on respectful rivalry between Alcaraz and Sinner

Image: Jannik Sinner holds aloft the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the Australian Open earlier this year

“This is why you train, this is why you play,” said Darren Cahill, who coached Sinner to Australian Open glory earlier this year.

“Two great kids not just on the court but also off the court as well. Their friendship is real. They both respect each other and like each other and you’ll see that on the court regardless of who wins.

“These two men will play a lot over the next 10 years and this is just another part of their rivalry.

“Jannik is keen to watch Carlos’ matches because in a way he was the trailblazer after winning a Grand Slam first.”

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The match between Alcaraz and Zverev was suspended due to a huge bee invasion!

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