Jannik Sinner admitted that his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinal of the US Open was one of his toughest ever losses.
Sinner and Alcaraz produced something genuinely special on Arthur Ashe, battling it out for more than five hours before the Spaniard eventually got over the line in a thrilling deciding set.
It was the latest ever finish at the US Open and the second-longest match in tournament history, and it was almost a shame that there had to be a loser at all.
In the end, though, it was Sinner who was left unrewarded for his part in an absolutely sensational night of tennis.
“I had some tough losses, for sure,” Sinner said. “This is in the top list. I think so. Concerning also the rest of the tournament, yeah, I think this one will hurt for quite a while.
“But tomorrow I wake up, or today I wake up, trying to somehow taking only the positives, trying to take away the other part.
“But it's tough, for sure. Next tournament I will play Davis Cup. Before I want to practice again in the best possible way, trying to improve. Maybe next time I can win this, no?
“As I said, this kind of level was very high for sure. It was a good match. I hope also for the spectators. Yeah, last time I won and this time he won, that's it.”
Sinner’s disappointment will almost certainly be given extra fuel by the fact that he had the chance to serve out the match before the deciding set.
He was unable to do so, though, with Alcaraz showing his mettle to win the crucial game. Sinner, though, is trying to remain philosophical on that key moment.
“He had some set points in the second, also,” Sinner said. “Some go my way and some go his way, but for sure I could have played it better.
“Talking now, it's easy, no? When you're on court, it's different. You feel the pressure a little bit more. You feel the momentum also. It's part of the game, no?
“I was serving quite well until that moment. Especially in the tough moments I served well. Yeah, it went his way. [In] the fifth set I was also a break up. I couldn't find a way to close it out, and that's it.”
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