Jannik Sinner played his part in a US Open classic against Carlos Alcaraz in the early hours of Thursday morning. The Italian hammered the ball with unrelenting force throughout the five-hour, 15-minute clash, but was unable to prevail, with the Spaniard showing his fighting spirit and quality to advance in five sets.
The 21-year-old, who squandered a match point in the fourth set, admitted that his loss against Alcaraz will haunt him for a while.
“I had some tough losses. This is in the top list,” Sinner said in his post-match press conference. “Concerning the rest of the tournament, I think this one will hurt for quite a while. But tomorrow I [will] wake up, trying to somehow take only the positives, trying to take away the other part.”
Sinner edged past Daniel Altmaier and Ilya Ivashka in five sets en route to his fourth Grand Slam quarter-final. However, with a first major semi-final on the line, the 11th seed was unable to find a way past Alcaraz in their fourth ATP Head2Head meeting.
Despite his disappointment, Sinner was pleased with his showing on Arthur Ashe Stadium in a performance that captured the world’s attention.
“It was a good match from my side and from his side,” Sinner said. “I could finish in three sets, could finish in four sets, could finish in five sets. The level was high. At some point I didn’t serve that well, but he was returning well. It was a good match. Obviously the crowd was good. For me only the second time on Ashe. So it was a good match for sure.”
Sinner leaves Flushing Meadows holding a 42-12 record on the season. The Italian captured his sixth tour-level title when he defeated Alcaraz in the Umag final in July and is up to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run in New York.
“I feel good. I think we have improved a lot physically in the last month, so I was ready for a tough, tough battle. I feel physically more ready to play these kinds of matches for hours and hours,” Sinner said when reflecting on his recent progress.
“Many positives I think in this week. The first week I didn’t play my best tennis, for sure. But today I raised it because he’s the kind of player who makes you raise the level.”
The 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals titlist is currently 14th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. The Italian will be aiming to finish the season strong and qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in November, having competed as an alternate last year.