Jannik Sinner took a 7-6(1), 7-5 loss to Spanish newcomer Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday at the Paris Bercy Masters as the race for the final two spots in the ATP Finals tightened.

Sinner is fighting to punch his ticket to Turin, but did not help his chances in his points struggle with Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who gained ground with his own 7-5, 7-6(4), second-round win over Tommy Paul.

Also chasing is Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime, who lost 6-3, 7-5 to lucky loser Dominik Koepfer. Briton Cam Norrie is also in the mix, with the recent Indian Wells winner reaching the third round here 6-3, 6-4 over Reilly Opelka.

Sinner became an unwilling loser to the 18-year-old Alcaraz, tipped as heir to Rafael Nadal. 

“I’m so happy for this win as Jannik was fighting for a spot at the ATP Finals,” the Spaniard said. 

“It’s my third Top 10 win of the year. I think Jannik and I will have a great rivalry in the future.”

Sinner is also excited about future meetings in the budding rivalry.

“We are different players, what we have in common is that we are working very hard. We are humble and fantastic teams.

“Neither of us focus on (media expectations). We focus on what we have to prove.

“Today was not my day, but I hope we can play one again; he has something special.”

Sinner cracked the ranking Top 10 for the first time this week and stands 45-20 on the season with four titles.

Alcaraz beat his first top player at the US Open, defeating third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas and put out No. 7  Matteo Berrettini in the Vienna quarter-finals last week.

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