Jannik Sinner is not yet a perfect player. He still struggles with inconsistency from tournament to tournament. For quite a bit of 2023, he would make a deep run in a tournament one week and then get bounced early at the next stop on the ATP tour. But the 22-year-old Italian has hovered around the top ten in the ATP rankings since late October 2021, and he seems to be set inside the top five for the foreseeable future.
Carlos Alcaraz, potentially Jannik Sinner’s biggest rival for the next ten years, jumped from a top 40 player to No. 1 in a year. The Spaniard did not seem to have a learning curve and just allowed his natural aggressive play to overpower most other players on the tour. We still do not know how much Alcaraz needs to adjust his game to remain in the top two players of the sport because other players can and will adjust to Alcaraz.
This may have already happened between Alcaraz and Sinner because Sinner leads the early head-to-head numbers 4-3. Sinner, however, almost inarguably finished 2023 stronger than Alcaraz so is that a sign Jannik Sinner has surpassed Carlos Alcaraz or that Alcaraz simply tired for the second straight year?
Jannik Sinner may have nothing else to learn
According to a former Roger Federer coach, Ivan Ljubicic, Sinner has nothing else he needs to learn after finishing 2023 so well. Sinner won three tournaments after July, was unbeaten at the ATP Finals until losing to Novak Djokovic in the final, and then Sinner defeated Djokovic at the Davis Cup finals while leading Italy to victory at the event.
Ljubicic told Tuttosport, “Jannik is not like Alcaraz, who went from (being ranked ) 40 to 1. (Sinner) needs steps…He needed certain experiences to feel comfortable on this path…At the end of 2022, I said that I regretted that Jannik had not played important matches against the biggest players. Now he has nothing more to learn.”
Now Jannik Sinner needs to make the next big jump and win several Grand Slams. Alcaraz already has a two-win lead on him in that area. But with anything else Sinner, chances are after he wins his first major he is probably going to quickly win five more.