Sinner, Alcaraz leave injury concerns behind as Roland-Garros comes around

The two are in the same half of the draw and could meet in the semi-finals in Paris

Carlos Alcaraz, Roland-Garros 2023 Carlos Alcaraz, Roland-Garros 2023 – © Chryslène Caillaud / Panoramic

Over the past few weeks, there were several question marks and doubts over the fitness levels of world No 2 Jannik Sinner and world No 3 Carlos Alcaraz – the two of the game’s biggest young stars – heading into Roland-Garros.

Both players pulled out of Rome – Sinner due to a hip injury, which he said could have become chronic, and Alcaraz, with an arm injury. But the duo, drawn in the same half in Paris and projected to meet in the semi-finals, told the media on Friday that they are feeling much better as the tournament gets ready to kick off on Sunday.

“The hip feels good. The last tests we made, they were very positive. That’s why I’m here. For sure, the general physical shape is not there where I want it to be, but, we cannot make miracles in less than 10 days before the first-round match,” Sinner said. “But I’m happy to be here. Look, it has been a very not easy period for me, not playing Rome, which is a very special tournament. So, I’m very happy.”

“I didn’t play tennis nearly three weeks, which is quite a lot, no, before a Grand Slam. But look, I just try to play day by day, no? This is a little bit different approach of a tournament than it used to be, because hopefully getting through to the first round can help me a little bit, finding my rhythm. Most importantly it’s going to be the mental side, no, of being mentally ready, accepting things what could happen on the court, and then we see what I can do.”

The hip feels good. The last tests we made, they were very positive. That’s why I’m here.

Jannik Sinner on his hip injury

Sinner opens up his campaign against American Chris Eubanks, whom he beat in the second round of the 2023 US Open in their only encounter so far. The Italian knows the American will not give him much rhythm, something he is hoping to build himself in his last few practice sessions.

“First-round match is going to be very tough. Not so much rhythm. He’s a different player, huge server. I played against him in US Open. Let’s see what’s coming. For me, most importantly are the next couple of days of practice session hopefully to find a good rhythm and then we see what I can do.”

I’m feeling better and better. At least I can practice, hit balls without pain.

Alcaraz, the reigning Wimbledon champion and ranked No 3, has been dealing with the effects of an arm injury. The Spaniard, who meets a qualifier/ lucky loser in the first round, said he has been feeling better with each passing day and practice session.

“I’m feeling better. Every practice that I have done here, at home, it was pretty, pretty good. I’m feeling better and better. At least I can practice, hit balls without pain. That’s a really good point for me. I’m excited to play my first match here in Roland Garros,” the Spaniard told the media on Friday.

Alcaraz revealed that he had decided that he would play in Paris quite some time ago, explaining that Roland-Garros is a special tournament for him.

“First of all, because it’s Roland Garros and it’s a really special tournament. Grand Slams, everybody wants to do good results here. This tournament is one of the main reasons that I’m practicing every day, want to be better player to be able to win these kind of tournaments. I decided to play here let’s say a long time ago, a few weeks ago, because I was feeling better. I think we did really good work on the forearm to recover the injury as soon as possible. We did everything the right time. We started to hit balls at, let’s say, at my 30%, just to increase my intensity after the days, and it was great.”

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