Tennis’s first major tournament of the year was dealt a huge blow on Friday when early men’s world number one Carlos Alcaraz from Spain announced he was withdrawing from the Australian Open due to an injury to his right leg.
Alcaraz, A 19-year-old phenomenon With an acrobatic and all-court match, he won his first Grand Slam singles title in September at the US Open in often stunning style, prevailing in a series of compelling and often drawn-out matches.
for him Four sets victory over Casper Rudd The final was the culmination of a stellar season and propelled him to the top of the men’s rankings, but Alcaraz has been struggling with his health ever since: withdrawing from the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, and the Davis Cup Finals in Málaga, Spain, with a torn oblique muscle in his left leg. left abdominal wall.
He has not taken part in an official event since retiring against Holger Rohn, another talented 19-year-old, in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters in early November, although he did participate in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi last month. Alcaraz has returned to its training base in Villena, Spain to recharge and qualify for the 2023 season, however he said in a social media post on Friday He injured a semi-membranous muscle in his right leg during a training session.
“I have worked hard to reach my best level for Australia,” he wrote in a tweet, announcing his withdrawal from next week’s exhibition near Melbourne and from the Australian Open, which begins on January 16.
“It’s hard, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look forward,” he wrote.
Alcaraz’s withdrawal means the Australian Open will be without the No. 1 men’s singles player for the second year in a row, albeit under very different circumstances.
Last year, Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia on the eve of the tournament after arriving in the country without a coronavirus vaccination and losing a long and highly publicized legal battle with the Australian government.
But the Australian government’s policy has changed, now allowing unvaccinated foreigners into the country, even without an exemption. Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open singles champion, returned to Australia this year and received the warmest welcome so far on his way to the semi-finals of the premier tournament in Adelaide this week.
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