Former world No 12 Paolo Bertolucci has asserted that Carlos Alcaraz is “light years away” mentally from his young ATP rival Jannik Sinner.
The Italian declared that Alcaraz has an “incredible background” technically and physically, but suggested he will fluctuate “with very high peaks and sudden drops” if not correctly channelled.
Alcaraz has achieved remarkable success in his career to date, having claimed two Grand Slam titles and become the youngest player to be ranked ATP world No 1 after winning the 2022 US Open.
The 20-year-old Spaniard has endured a more challenging period since his stunning triumph at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships in July – which was the last title he won. The world No 2 reached his only final since his All England Club victory at the Cincinnati Masters in August.
From around the same time Alcaraz’s dip started, Sinner has reached a new level and had the best period of his career to date. After reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, Sinner won titles in Toronto, Beijing Vienna, was a runner-up at the ATP Finals in Turin, and led Italy to Davis Cup glory to end his season.
The 22-year-old Italian has continued his stellar form into 2024 as he won the Australian Open title to claim his maiden Grand Slam crown last week. Alcaraz was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals in Melbourne.
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In an interview with Italian website Fanpage, Bertolucci was asked about the trajectories of Alcaraz and Sinner, given the latter has enjoyed greater success in recent months.
“In my opinion, Alcaraz has an incredible technical background, even physically, but mentally he is light years away from Sinner,” the 72-year-old said.
“He looks for something else besides the point, many times he seems to be having fun and involving the public because his tennis is made up of special effects. Content with making a point, he wants to do it with a double somersault, with a somersault.
“These are beautiful things, which drive you crazy, but sometimes they make you lose games. There are moments when everything is easy and you can let yourself go. But when you, if you find three ties in the third set, you have to go concrete and he has been lacking lately from this point of view.
“He is two years younger than Sinner, he is very young and if they manage to channel him, he will be a splendid player to be admired for a long time. Otherwise, it will be fluctuating with very high peaks and sudden drops.”
The former French Open quarter-finalist added on the mindset of world No 4 Sinner: “He programs well, like all the things he does. You also see the perfect approach to Australia with the work done and no injuries.
“All the components have to fall into place, and now they have fallen into the right place, and he does everything possible for this to happen. It is a guarantee in this.”
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