Jannik Sinner can beat Carlos Alcaraz in French Open at Roland Garros

Jannik Sinner can beat Carlos Alcaraz in five sets to reach the French Open final (Pucture: AP)

Wimbledon may have an eerie feel about it this year as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer could all be absent after dominating the grass-court grand slam for the best part of quarter of a century.

Since 2002, when Leyton Hewitt beat David Nalbandian in straight sets to lift the trophy, there has only been one year when one of the Big Three has not played for the men’s title on Centre Court – 2016 when Andy Murray beat Milos Raonic to win his home grand slam for a second time.

But Djokovic is in a race against time to be fit, with the Serb reportedly having surgery, after aggravating a knee injury and having to withdraw from his French Open quarter-final with Casper Ruud. Nadal is primed to miss the entire grass- court season to concentrate on the Olympics in Paris and Federer has already retired.

Prepare for new faces to feature at the top of the sport from now on, with Jannik Sinner leading the way after beating Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to win the Australian Open in January.

After overcoming some injury problems of his own, the Italian will be on course to win the second slam of the year if he sees off Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals in the French capital.

Novak Djokovic tore a meniscus muscle in a knee when he slipped at Roland Garros and may miss Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic tore a meniscus muscle in a knee when he slipped at Roland Garros and may miss Wimbledon (Picture: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Spaniard edges their head-to-head record with five wins from nine matches, but they have only played twice on clay and are level pegging with one victory apiece.

Alcaraz claimed the deciding set when they met on the dirt at the Alicante Challenger five years ago while Sinner, who will become the new world No.1 on Monday whatever the outcome in Paris, won the last two sets 6-1, 6-1 after losing a tie-break when they faced each other in the 2022 Croatia Open.

Sinner has been in the better form so far this tournament, smashing 31 aces to the 14 teed up by Alcaraz and he’s won more points on first serves and held more serves than his opponent.

It’s a duel worthy of Sunday’s final and could be a close affair, with Sinner the value at 11/8 with Betfred as he wins a battle for the ages in five sets at 13/2 with BetGoodwin. The match to go the distance and either player winning is 23/10 with Betway.

• Iga Swiatek plays Coco Gauff for a place in the women’s final and can continue her top-drawer form as she takes a step nearer successfully defending her French Open title.

The world No.1 from Poland has beaten the American in ten of their 11 meetings, including a 6-4, 6-3 triumph in the last four of the Italian Open in Rome last month. Swiatek has dramatically upped her game since then and is so dominant she can win by over 6.5 games at 5/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

• Australia enter the T20 World Cup fray for the first time when they take on Oman and Travis Head is 10/3 with Sky Bet to be their top scorer. Meanwhile, the USA showed resilience and a refusal to be beaten when they defeated Canada in their opening match at the weekend, while Pakistan struggled to overcome Papua New Guinea and the hosts are worth a small flutter at 7/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral Paddy Power and Betfair to cause an upset.

Scotland had no trouble hitting runs off England’s attack before rain forced Tuesday’s match in Bridgetown to be abandoned and are 5/6 with Paddy Power and Betfair to defeat Namibia.


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