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This Week in Tennis 8 – Alcaraz vs Sinner Rivalry

by TN

In this episode of This Week in Tennis, we talk about the Alcaraz vs Sinner rivalry, the top ten rankings, Swiateks bakery and more.

We usually start by summarizing the previous week and then move into next week with predictions and thoughts.

One of the themes of this week’s video episode is the Alcaraz vs Sinner rivalry, where Sinner is now showing the strongest form and, you could argue, maturity. But like in all rivalries, things might change!

Sinner is currently on 12-0 in matches in 2024 after winning the Rotterdam ATP 500 as a nice follow-up to his Australian Open triumph, while Alcaraz lost in the semi-finals of the Buenos Aires ATP 250 to Nicolas Jarry. But more about that in the section we call, The Last Week in Tennis.

Last Week in Tennis (w7)

ATP 500 in Rotterdam

Sinner came in as the top seed and performed as the top seed. The young Italian is now at number 3 in the world, his highest ranking ever, and is yet to lose a match in 2024.

He played De Minaur in the final, a player with whom he had a 6-0 head-to-head. Now it’s 7-0.

“My team, we did a really good job a few weeks ago and now we made a very good job here,” Sinner said. “I am really proud with the level that I played throughout this whole week. We have been in tough situations but we handled it the right way. We will always try to improve, it is the most important.”

Just an overall super stable performance from Sinner. How long until he is the number one ranked player in the world? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

ATP 250 Buenos Aires

The dirt rats where fighting it out on the tierra batida in Argentina. We predicted an Alcaraz win, but in the semi-final, he came up against hard-hitting Nicolas Jarry from Chile. Jarry is a tough opponent with his big serve and aggressive tennis and Alcaraz could not quite find his best game to counter it. In the end, it was a deserved win for the Chilean 7-6 6-4.

But Jarry could not quite get the title, as home player Facundo Diaz Acosta had a stellar week and won his first ATP title without dropping a set, pushing him to 59 in the ATP rankings. It will be interesting to follow the Argentinian 23-year-old in Rio de Janeiro.

Where does this leave us with Carlos Alcaraz? He hasn’t won a title since Wimbledon or reached a final since Cincinnati.I wrote a post on Tennisnerd detailing possible reasons for his slump called what’s up with Carlos Alcaraz?

Is Sinner’s slow but steady ascent becoming a point of painful comparison for Alcaraz? The Spaniard broke through quickly with his dazzling tennis, while Sinner has been building patiently. The Italian is also leading the head-to-head.

What do you see happening with Alcaraz in the coming months?

Delray Beach ATP 250

We predicted that Tommy Paul would ride his already high confidence from Dallas into another title. The final was pushed until Monday due to inclement weather, and Taylor Fritz was too strong there, winning in straight sets and showing that he is deservedly the number one ranked American player.

Qatar Open WTA 1000

In our predictions, we thought Iga Swiatek had the desire to go for yet another title in Qatar, and we were not wrong. 

The final happened between the first seeded Swiatek and the third seeded Rybakina. After a long tie-break, which the Polish star won 10-8, she was too good in the second set and took her third title in Qatar, 7-6 6-2 final score.

Can Swiatek keep it up in Dubai? We think so.

This Week in Tennis 8

Alright, what is happening during week 8. Well, obviously a LOT of tennis.

The WTA Tour stays in the middle east and goes to another WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai.

Dubai WTA 1000

The player list is HEAVY here as pretty much everyone is taking part. We see Sabalenka for the first time since her Australian Open title. Can she win it, or will Swiatek keep collecting titles?

It will be fascinating. We predict yet another Swiatek title. She has found her form and is not letting go. Also, her surprising loss in straight sets to Krejcikova might still sting and inspire.

Rio De Janeiro ATP 500

We continue the storyline with most of the players from the Buenos Aires tournament. We have Alcaraz, starting against Monteiro. We have the winner of Buenos Aires, Diaz Acosta starting against Wawrinka. Last years winner Norrie is also in the draw.

We will do another prediction of Alcaraz winning. At some point he should make it happen, why not in Rio?

He won it in 2022, but lost to final against Cameron Norrie last year.

Qatar ATP 250

We thought Rublev would take home the Rotterdam title, but it Sinner was too good. Can he win the Qatar 250 then? Many players from the Rotterdam field are playing here.

Murray is back in action and playing a qualifier in Muller in the first round. Can he win his first match of the season? He is has been vocal about his frustration but will it lead to better results?

Player to keep your eyes on: young Jordanian player, Abdullah Shelbayh, who starts against Popyrin. Shelbayh has recently switched racquet from a HEAD Speed MP to a Yonex Ezone.

Our prediction is that Ugo Humbert takes this one. He is in great form and very clutch when it comes to winning finals.

Los Cabos ATP 250

Last but not least, the tour goes to Mexico and Los Cabos.

Zverev is the top seed, while there are plenty of interesting players to follow in the draw. Tsitsipas is playing his first tournament outside the top ten rankings in years. Will this give him extra motivation? De Minaur is coming from a good run in Rotterdam.

Kokkinakis gets a tough draw against Draper. The reason I mention “the Kokk” is that he has recently switched back to a blacked-out Babolat Pure Aero. Let’s see if he can get back to winning ways with his familiar weapon.

The way Zverev has been playing recently, you have to pick him for the title, but I think we will see a strong showing from Tsitsipas. He is the defending champion, and I predict he will also take the title in 2024.

Summary

Those are our predictions for week 8 in the tennis calendar. Let’s hear yours! If you are curious about betting, check out our guide on How To Bet on Tennis.

We also want to know who you think will come out on top in the Alcaraz vs Sinner rivalry. Comment below!

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