Connect with us

Sports

Alcaraz sets up French Open match ‘everybody wants to see’ against Sinner

Alcaraz sets up French Open match ‘everybody wants to see’ against Sinner

Published

on

Alcaraz sets up French Open match 'everybody wants to see' against Sinner

Carlos Alcaraz saw off Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Tuesday to set up a mouthwatering French Open semi-final clash with incoming world number one Jannik Sinner.

The reigning Wimbledon champion proved too strong for former Roland Garros runner-up Tsitsipas, powering to a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I was really calm in the moments I had to (be),” he said. “I’m really happy to play a semi-final here again at Roland Garros.”

Alcaraz will be desperate to right the wrongs of last year — when he suffered cramps in a defeat by Novak Djokovic — in his second successive French Open semi-final.

Advertisement

The 21-year-old Spaniard has now won all six of his career matches against ninth-ranked Tsitsipas, including back-to-back quarter-finals in Paris after his three-set victory at the same stage last year.

“I was pretty sure I could face Carlos today and maybe do something different than any other time that I have played (him),” said Tsitsipas.

“The kid is just too good. I can only congratulate him because he’s really playing amazing.”

Alcaraz is bidding to become the youngest man in history to win Grand Slam tournaments on hard, grass and clay courts after his Wimbledon triumph and 2022 US Open title.

He will face Sinner Friday for the ninth time, with the pair’s head-to-head record level at 4-4.

Advertisement

“It’s a really difficult challenge, I’m not going to lie,” said Alcaraz of Sinner, who will usurp Djokovic at the top of the rankings next week.

“I think right now he’s the best player in the world, the player who’s playing the best tennis right now.”

There will be a new name on the men’s trophy this year after Djokovic pulled out ahead of his quarter-final with a knee injury, while it will also be the first final without one of the ‘big three’ since 2004.

The winner of Alcaraz’s match with Australian Open champion Sinner will be favourite for the title in the final against either Alexander Zverev, Casper Ruud or Alex de Minaur.

“Surprise for me that he withdrew from the tournament,” said Alcaraz of Djokovic.

Advertisement

“I think not having Djokovic in the tournament, it’s I’m going to say distressing for the fans not having one of the best players in the world in the tournament.”

‘LET’S SEE WHO WINS’

Alcaraz won his only previous match against Sinner this year in the Indian Wells semis, while they have shared a win each in Grand Slam clashes.

“We’ve played great matches, high level,” said Alcaraz. “I’m grateful to have him on the tour, at this level because he pushes me to be my best level… to wake up in the morning to try to get better to try to beat him.

“It’s going to be a really good challenge, I’m ready for that challenge. It’s the match that everybody wants to watch.

Advertisement

“I’m sure he’ll show his best tennis, I will as well, so let’s see who’s going to win.”

Alcaraz started quickly in front of an expectant crowd on Tuesday, racing through the first set in just half an hour as Tsitsipas struggled to contain his opponent.

An underwhelming contest looked on the cards when the third seed forged 4-1 ahead in the second, although Tsitsipas fought back to force a tie-break.

The Greek was always on the back foot, though, and Alcaraz upped his level again to take the breaker.

Tsitsipas’ hopes dissipated with a double-fault to give up a break of serve in the seventh game of the third set.

Advertisement

Alcaraz made no mistake in closing it out, sealing victory with a drop-shot winner.

Sports

Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Published

on

By

Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is joining Hajduk Split after Saudi Pro League club Al-Shabab terminated his contract by mutual consent following a six-month spell.

The 36-year-old scored once in eight games after joining Al-Shabab in January 2024 as they finished eighth on 52 points.

“The club management agreed with the Croatian player Ivan Rakitic to terminate the contractual relationship between the two parties by mutual consent,” the Saudi club posted on the X social media platform.

Hajduk Split on Sunday announced the signing of the former Barcelona and Sevilla midfielder for one season with the option of an extra year in what will be his first campaign in Croatia.

Advertisement

Rakitic, who was born in Switzerland, played 106 games for Croatia, scoring 15 goals, and helped the country reach the World Cup final in 2018. 

Continue Reading

Sports

Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

Published

on

By

Croatia's Vida retires from international football

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida has retired from international soccer after 14 years in the national team, the Croatian Football Federation said on Sunday.

Vida, 35, made his international debut in May 2010 and has played 105 matches for Croatia. He was part of the Croatia side that reached the final of World Cup 2018 and finished third in World Cup 2022.

“It is an honour to wear the most beautiful jersey in the world once in your career,” Vida said in a statement.

“And when you do it 105 times, you play in seven major competitions … then you can just be infinitely grateful for such a privilege.”

Advertisement

Former Bayer Leverkusen and Besiktas player Vida currently plays for Greek top-flight club AEK Athens. 

Continue Reading

Sports

Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Published

on

By

Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Sydney Collins will miss the Paris 2024 women’s soccer tournament after fracturing her left leg during a training game in her first match back after suffering a similar injury to her right leg earlier this year, Team Canada said on Saturday.

Gabrielle Carle will replace Collins in Canada’s Olympic squad, while Desiree Scott will take Carle’s spot as an alternate for the Tokyo 2020 gold medallists, it said.

Collins sustained the injury on Thursday during a closed-door training match against Nigeria, her first since fracturing her right leg in February.

“Our hearts go out to Sydney during this difficult time. She has worked incredibly hard to return in time for Paris 2024, and while this is a setback, we know she will come back stronger,” said women’s national team head coach Bev Priestman.

Advertisement

“She will be with us in spirit every step of the way.

“With the depth and resilience of our roster, it’s a next-player-up mentality, and both Gabby and Desiree’s experience will be invaluable to our team’s success.”

Canada will begin the defence of their Olympic title on July 25 against Group A opponents New Zealand. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN