Indian Express News Feed

Carlos Alcaraz is sidelined in the ATP Rio Open first round due to an ankle injury

<p>On only the second point of his match against Thiago Monteiro, world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz suffered a rolling right ankle that forced him to withdraw from the ATP Rio Open first round.</p>
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<p>The Spanish player took a medical break, had his ankle wrapped, and won the first set. However, he ended his 2024 campaign prematurely in the second game after losing his serve, which was another blow to an already poor season.</p>
<p>Alcaraz informed reporters shortly after the game that his decision to retire was made as a “precaution” and that the physiotherapists who had evaluated him had said the injury “is not serious.”</p>
<p>“After talking with the on-court physiotherapist, we both agreed that I should keep checking to see if it got better. Alcaraz said, “It didn’t, so we decided to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.” He also mentioned that he will undergo more testing on Wednesday.</p>
<p>The two-time Grand Slam champion had a difficult start to 2024, losing to Alexander Zverev in four sets in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.</p>
<p>He lost to 21-year-old Nicolas Jarry of Chile in the Buenos Aires semifinals on Saturday, and he hasn’t won an ATP trophy since his incredible victory over Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in July.</p>
<p>Expectations that he would begin to improve in Rio, where he won the title in 2022 and came in second to Cameron Norrie of Britain last year, were swiftly shattered.</p>
<p>Rain had delayed play at Jockey Club Brasileiro for three hours, and two points into the match, he and the 117th-ranked Brazilian Monteiro got into a scramble after Alcaraz’s right foot got trapped in the red clay surface.</p>
<p>The first tennis players to take the court on Tuesday did so in foggy circumstances, and four of the day’s matches were rescheduled until Wednesday.</p>
<p>“Those incidents occur.”</p>
<p>By the time Alcaraz and Monteiro faced up, it was resolved, and Alcaraz claimed the court orders were not the cause.</p>
<p>Alcaraz said, “Those things happen, even more so on clay.”</p>
<p>After suffering a heavy fall, the Spaniard was sluggish to get up, hobbling to his chair and covering his face with a towel until the trainer came. “It wasn’t a problem with the court, I got hurt in a change of direction and that happens on this type of surface,” he said.</p>
<p>With a scowl on his face and a little limp, Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero watched from the bleachers in worry as his team won the first game.</p>
<p>But he chose not to play on after losing his serve in the second.</p>
<p>“I know how hard every player works to be ready for a tournament of this magnitude, so it’s really sad to win in this way,” Monteiro said.</p>
<p>After improving to 2-0 versus Alcaraz, whom he defeated in the Melbourne-1 round of 16, the 29-year-old left-hander said, “I just wish him a speedy recovery, that it’s nothing serious or that it won’t affect his season.”</p>
<p>The injury occurs as Jannik Sinner, the Australian Open winner from Italy, approaches Alcaraz for the second-best ranking in the world.</p>
<p>Alcaraz has 1,000 points to defend in the famous hardcourt event in Indian Wells, California, next month, trailing Sinner, who won the Rotterdam championship on Sunday, by only 535 points.</p>