Paris | The Sinner Alcaraz blockbuster is set.

Setting aside the surprise announcement of Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the French Open, the remaining quarter final matches were completed as expected with both Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner advancing to set up what could well prove, the clash of the tournament!

What can I say. First of all, it is every player’s dream to become No.1 in the world. In the other way, seeing Novak retiring here I think is disappointing. I wish him a speedy recovery. Jannik Sinner

In the afternoon session, Sinner, the world No.1 in waiting, had little trouble in dispatching Grigor Dimitrov for a fourth time, 6-2 6-4 7-6(3) to make the last four at Roland Garros for the first time.

“I am very happy. We have played a couple of times before and know what to expect,” Sinner said. “We played a final in Miami and it is always tough to play against him. He is such a great talent and nice guy. My performance was very solid, especially the first two sets. I had a little bit of pressure when serving for the match, but this is normal, this is tennis. I am happy with how I played later and to be in the semis.”


Grigor Dimitrov congratulates Jannik Sinner

(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Dimitrov, at 33-years of age, has been having a great season with a title at Brisbane and reaching the final of two other events and arriving in Paris with a 34-8 win-loss record for the year before going on to reach the last eight for the first time.

And he did put on a good show, especially in the third set to force a tiebreaker, but the young Sinner is on a mission!

For the Italian, the Australian Open champion, has now reached his third semi-final in his last four Slams where he now holds a 12-0 win loss record in Slams for the year and is 33-2 overall for the season.

Learning of Djokovic’s withdrawal and his elevation next Monday to replace him in the rankings, Sinner grinned shyly before saying: “What can I say. First of all, it is every player’s dream to become No.1 in the world.

“In the other way, seeing Novak retiring here I think is disappointing. I wish him a speedy recovery.”


Carlos Alcaraz dominates Stefanos Tsitsipas

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

In the evening, title favourite Alcaraz continued his total domination of Stefanos Tsitaipas with a confident display to defeat the Greek star 6-3 7-6(3) 6-4 for his sixth win over him.

“I think it was a really good match. I played great. I think there weren’t up and downs in my game. I controlled very well my emotions, myself on the court,” Alcaraz said.

“I was really calm in the moments I had to be and I’m really happy with the way that I managed everything, the way that I played and to play a semi-final here again in Roland Garros.”

And so the two rising stars of the tennis world will face each other on Thursday in what will most certainly be, the one match everyone will want to watch.

Currently neither has the advantage from eight previous meetings, both winning four, but Sinner did win their only previous clash on clay back in 2022 in the Umag final.

“It’s a really difficult challenge,” Alcaraz said of facing Sinner. “Right now, he’s the best player in the world, or the player who is playing the best tennis right now. What can I say about him? We’ve played great matches, high level, and I’m glad to have him in the tour at this level.

“Thanks to him, I push myself to be better, to be a better player, to give my 100 per cent every day, to wake up in the morning and want to improve my game to try to beat him.

“I love watching him play, as well. I’m ready to take that challenge. It is the match that everybody wants to watch, and I’m sure he’s going to show his best tennis – myself, as well, and we’re going to see who’s going to win.”


Carlos Alcaraz walks off court alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


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