Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz could be headed toward a French Open clash

Sinner won his first-round match but did he show enough to be considered a French Open favorite?
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Jannik Sinner was not perfect on Monday, but he was certainly good enough to beat an American on clay. Christopher Eubanks would have been much more dangerous for the rusty Sinner had the two played on the grass at Wimbledon, but Eubanks’ game simply do not translate to well to clay. Still, Sinner was not as dominant as Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday in Alcaraz’ first match back in nearly a month.

At this point, however, simply getting matches in is the important bit for Sinner. He has been struggling with a hip injury, and the only way to make it better is to rest. Sinner withdrew from the Italian Open, a tournament he would probably have loved to play in since the event is held in his home country, with the hopes of being ready for Roland Garros.

Sinner, of course, will also be tasked with not winning two sets to win a match but three. This is a bit like trying to test his fitness in a matter of seconds instead of days. While Sinner won in straight sets against Eubanks, he did so 6-3 6-3 6-4. Alcaraz, in comparison, only lost four games in his first-round match. Perhaps the longer match for Sinner will be a blessing in disguise.

Jannik Sinner pushes past Christopher Eubanks but in slightly tighter match than expected

The Italian is only 22 years old, so there should be no concerns about how quickly he can build stamina. Stretching himself a bit more than expected against the big-serving (but a player with an overall lack of versatility), Eubanks should help Sinner a few matches into his Italian Open run. He should not be as gassed as he might if he wasn’t pushed a bit.

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The same might not be said of Alcaraz. He played amazingly in the first round but faced with better competition, will he tire sooner? He seemed a bit winded midway through the third set, even though he had won most games.

Any slight advantage for Sinner could be the difference if he eventually faces Alcaraz. Both players are so close in level that a seemingly minor thing could be the difference between a win or loss. If Sinner is more tested, he might be ready for the battle with Alcaraz a bit more.

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