Carlos Alcaraz sets up another clash in Jannik Sinner rivalry at China Open

Alcaraz beat Casper Ruud to reach the semi-finals, while Coc Gauff won her first match since becoming US Open champions

Shrivathsa Sridhar
Monday 02 October 2023 18:00 BST
<p>Carlos Alcaraz downed Casper Ruud </p>

Carlos Alcaraz downed Casper Ruud

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz and Italian Jannik Sinner set up yet another instalment in their blossoming rivalry with quarter-final wins over Casper Ruud and Grigor Dimitrov respectively at the China Open.

Alcaraz beat Ruud 6-4 6-2 in straight sets to maintain his perfect record against the Norwegian to seal a spot in the semi-final, while Sinner had to dig deep and overcome illness to clinch a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over Bulgaria’s Dimitrov.

“A very tough evening, the level was really high,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “I didn’t feel very good, maybe I ate something wrong. At one point I also threw up a little, but I’m happy with how I handled the situation.”

Second seed Daniil Medvedev overcame a mid-match wobble to beat Ugo Humbert 6-4 3-6 6-1 and move into the semi-finals, where he will face Alexander Zverev in their fifth meeting this season.

Medvedev has been a model of consistency on hardcourts this year with titles in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai and Miami and though the Russian world No 3 was not at his dominant best he battled past Humbert for his 41st win of 2023 on the surface.

“I’m happy that I managed to raise my level in important moments, except a game in the second set,” Medvedev said. “It’s great that I managed to still find in this tough match these moments of consistency, which is enough to win.

“That’s what you have to do. I’m happy to be in the semi-finals. When you come to the tournament, you always want to go as far as possible. Happy to still be here tomorrow.

“The further we go, the tougher the matches, the tougher the opponents. That’s normal.”

Medvedev continued his run in Beijing

Chengdu champion Zverev, who is rediscovering his best form after a serious ankle injury last year, extended his winning run to seven matches with a 6-1 6-7(5) 6-3 win over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry. The 10th-ranked German has lost three times to Medvedev this year but flipped the script in their last meeting in Cincinnati.

“It seems like we have to play each other every tournament this year. It’s the fifth time we’re going to play each other,” Zverev said. “Every time we play, it’s a battle.

“I’m looking forward to what’s to come. He’s playing great tennis. I hope I can bring my A game.”

In the women’s tournament, US Open winner Coco Gauff roared to victory in her first match as a grand slam champion, as the American downed Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5 6-3.

Fresh from her triumph in Ningbo last week, world No 7 Ons Jabeur eased past 19-year-old Osaka champion Ashlyn Krueger 6-3 6-4. The Tunisian, who is looking to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals, plays Marta Kostyuk in the second round.

World No 2 Iga Swiatek also powered into the second round on her Beijing debut with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo. The Pole was particularly effective at the net, winning 15 out of 17 points, and next meets Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva.

“Today I felt really confident and comfortable because I’ve been practising that a lot,” Swiatek said. “I’m pretty proud of my performance at the net because, technically, I feel like my volley has changed. I’m really happy with that.

“I think against some players it’s necessary to go to the net and today that was that kind of a match.”


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