Tracy Austin knows a thing or five about what it takes to become a top-ranked player. Austin, of course, is a former WTA No. 1. But for a few years now she has spoken about an ATP player she believes is the future of tennis, and that player, in Austin’s opinion, is not Carlos Alcaraz. Instead, Austin has raved about Jannik Sinner.
According to Tennis.com, Austin said, “For several years, we’ve been calling Jannik Sinner the future of tennis. Well, 2023 revealed that the future is now.”
It certainly appears to be. Jannik Sinner finished the year much stronger than Carlos Alcaraz. In fact, Alcaraz, whether because of injury or poor form, has struggled at the end of the last two years. He missed the ATP Finals in 2022 and in 2023, he lost in the round-robin stage to Alexander Zverev and then was swept away easily in the semifinals by Novak Djokovic.
Carlos Alcaraz not the future of tennis, says former WTA No. 1
Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner went unbeaten until he lost to Djokovic in the finals, but he did beat the Serb in the round-robin stage. From August on, Sinner also won three tournaments while Alcaraz did not win a single won. This is not to say moving forward that Jannik Sinner will simply always be better than Carlos Alcaraz, obviously, but there is certainly a chance he is.
Sinner leads the head-to-head against Alcaraz 4-3 and has taken the only deciding set against the Spaniard that the two have played. Sinner actually won more deciding sets against Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in 2023 than he lost (5-1 overall). That kind of winning tennis takes a lot of mental stamina and the ability to handle stress. Sinner definitely seems to be ahead of Carlos Alcaraz in that respect.
The biggest difference at this point, however, is that Alcaraz has two Grand Slam victories and Sinner has not yet made a major final. He has only made one semifinal, which was at Wimbledon this year. He lost to Djokovic there. So maybe Jannik Sinner is not yet the future of tennis, as Tracy Austin says, but watching him and Carlos Alcaraz play each other for that false title should be fun to see over the next few years.