“Sinner and Djokovic are the only ones who can challenge Alcaraz at the US Open” – Goran Ivanisevic

According to Goran Ivanisevic, there are really only three men with strong chances of winning the US Open

Jannik Sinner Toronto Masters 2023 (JB Autissier/Panoramic)

Novak Djokovic‘s coach Goran Ivanisevic is backing his man to put together a good run at the US Open – but thinks there is another player in the draw who will be able to challenge world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz as he looks to defend his title.

Alcaraz is a story by himself, and Sinner is the only one who can threaten him at the US Open, along with Novak,” Ivanisevic told Croatian media in quotes translated by Tennis Majors. “The game that Sinner plays does not suit Alcaraz and they have had very interesting matches so far. Also, if Medvedev is on his day, he is also a phenomenal player for me. Novak remains the only ‘dinosaur’…the rest [of the contenders] are all young guys.”

Reflecting on the rivalry between Alcaraz and Sinner, who had a memorable match last year in New York, Ivanisevic added: “Each of their matches is tense. There is no one who can stay in a long match with Alcaraz except Sinner and Djokovic. Those who can’t stay long at Alcaraz’s pace can immediately pack their racquets and go home.”

Alcaraz and Sinner have played each other six times thus far at senior level, and have three wins each. The most notable is surely Alcaraz’s comeback from two sets down in the quarter-finals of the 2022 US Open to win in the small hours of the morning – but Sinner won their most recent encounter, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals of Indian Wells earlier this year.

Ivanisevic: As a player, Alcaraz is a miracle

Ivanisevic was asked about the dramatic Wimbledon final between Djokovic and Alcaraz, and he admitted: “I’m still a little in shock from that final. [Djokovic] said it all in his speech after the match: some finals he should have lost, then he won them, and some he should have won, then he lost. In the end, Novak had a lot of chances that he didn’t take. Alcaraz played braver, more decisively when he needed to, he was better that day and won the match.”

And he had plenty more praise for the 20-year-old Spaniard.

“As a person he is phenomenal, and as a player I am speechless, it’s a miracle. The energy he brings to the court, the way he plays… He’s always smiling, even when he loses, it’s amazing.”

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