Tennis News: Carlos Alcaraz, Naomi Osaka and Jannik Sinner

  • Alcaraz gets some backing
  • Osaka sees no failure
  • Sinner reveals his 2024 goal
Cameron Spencer/GettyImages

Carlos Alcaraz certainly is not trending toward being a more accomplished player than Jannik Sinner in 2024 and beyond. Since last July's Wimbledon when Alcaraz defeated Novak Djokovic in the five-set final, the Spaniard has won zero titles. Meanwhile, he has watched Sinner win four tournaments, including the 2024 Australian Open, plus helping Italy take home the trophy for the Davis Cup.

Alcaraz is clearly a special player and he is only 20 years old and will likely adjust and improve his game. But most people observing the men's game right now would probably not automatically say Alcaraz is going to do more than Sinner. Sinner is ascending while Alcaraz is not.

Nick Lester is not like most people, though. The tennis commentator said to press the brakes a bit on the expectations for both Alcaraz and Sinner while recently speaking on Eurosport and discovery+. Lester still sees Alcaraz as likely having a better year than the Italian.

Jannik Sinner is ascending but Carlos Alcaraz might still be better

Said Lester, "I wouldn’t rule out Carlos to have a bigger year than Sinner from this point forward. Alcaraz is such an aggressive player and there were periods in that match where the aggression is slightly off." But that is partly Alcaraz's issue.

Many times, Alcaraz makes a point more difficult than he needs to. This is probably because he is capable of hitting a ridiculously good shot from anywhere on the court. To improve, though, he needs to manage his aggressiveness and mix in more efficiency.

Sinner seems to understand tempering expectations and aggressiveness a bit more at this point. After winning the Australian Open, he was not ready to say he thinks he will win every tournament in a conversation with L'Equipe. In fact, his goal is simply to improve over previous results.

Sinner said, "To be ATP No.1 you must first be number three and number two. This is to say that you have to proceed step by step. The real goal this year is to do better in the Grand Slam tournaments. At Wimbledon I reached the semi-finals, so it will be difficult to improve on that result! But at Roland Garros and the US Open, I have to do better."

Naomi Osaka does not see failure

Speaking of trying to get better, Naomi Osaka is still working on that. She did not play for more than a year before returning to tennis to begin 2024. She has had mixed results so far but has not made any deep runs in tournaments. Osaka does not see this as overall failure, though.

Speaking with the media after her loss last week in the Abu Dhabi Open, Osaka said, “I know there’s going to be a lot of tough matches and probably a lot of scrappy ones, but I just have to learn how to have match rhythm again and know that there’s no such thing as failure. You just have to keep getting back up." That is likely the correct mentality to have in order to get back to playing elite tennis.

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