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Sinner comeback in Miami semi-finals ends Alcaraz’s hopes for Sunshine Double

Carlos Alcaraz’s title defense in Miami comes to an end with a three-set loss to Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals on Friday. Sinner will battle Daniil Medvedev for the title.

Jannik Sinner, Miami 2023 Jannik Sinner, Miami 2023 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Carlos Alcaraz beat Jannik Sinner on his way to the Indian Wells title two weeks ago, but it was Sinner who denied Alcaraz’s bid to complete the Sunshine Double.

The 21-year-old avenged his Indian Wells loss by beating Alcaraz 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Miami Open on Friday night. Sinner prevailed after three hours and one minute to set up a showdown for the title with Daniil Medvedev.

“For sure it’s one of the best wins (in my career),” Sinner said. “Obviously it was a very tough match against him. I think we both played a very, very high-level match.”

As is often the case when these two rising stars go head-to-head, an incredible level of tennis was on display. With Sinner serving at 4-2, 0-15 in the opening set, they played what might go down as the point of the year. Sinner won it with a backhand pass, but Alcaraz ended up breaking to get back on serve.

Alcaraz went on to snag the set in a tiebreaker, but Sinner wasn’t about to go away. The Italian crucially saved two break points at 3-4 and then benefited from too many errors off the Alcaraz racket to break for 5-4. Sinner served out the set with little trouble to force a decider.

With momentum on his side, the world No. 11 broke serve right away in set two. From there Alcaraz went downhill physically, seemingly struggling with leg cramps. It was all but over when the defending champion double-faulted multiple times at 2-4 and got broken again.

Alcaraz: “I don’t think about [losing] the No 1”

In addition to seeing the Sunshine Double opportunity go by the wayside, Alcaraz will also relinquish the No 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic on Monday. However, the 19-year-old isn’t taking it as more than a semi-final loss to Sinner.

“For me it’s like I lost the semi-final,” he explained. “I don’t think about [losing] the No 1 (or) I lost the Sunshine Double. I don’t think about it.

“Of course it’s a shame; I had opportunity to get the Sunshine Double. But I think I’m gonna have more years to try to get it. But all I can think about is like (how) to improve my level to beat Jannik. Yeah, for me (it) is just [a loss in] a semi-final of a tournament.”

Sinner vs. Medvedev in the Miami Open final

Medvedev, who lost to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells title match, booked his spot in a fifth consecutive final by winning the first semi-final earlier on Friday. The Russian defeated compatriot Karen Khachanov 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3.

Prior to Indian Wells, Medvedev lifted trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. He beat Sinner 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the Rotterdam final, improving to 5-0 in the head-to-head series.

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