HomeTennisCarlos Alcaraz withdraws from Italian Open due to injury

Carlos Alcaraz withdraws from Italian Open due to injury

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World No 3 Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Italian Open in Rome, which starts May 8.

Alcaraz, who lost to Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open, has been struggling with a forearm injury for the last month. On Friday, the 20-year-old released a statement saying that the injury had worsened.

“I felt some pain after playing in Madrid, some discomfort in my arm,” Alcaraz said. “Today I did some tests and I have a muscle edema in my pronator teres, a consequence of my recent injury.

“Unfortunately I will not be able to play in Rome. I need to rest so I can recover and play 100 per cent pain free. I am very sorry, I will see you next year.”

Alcaraz joins home favourite and world No 2 Jannik Sinner in struggling with injury, while world No 4 Daniil Medvedev — who pulled out of Madrid with a groin problem — is racing to be fit for the flagship run-up to the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris.

All three players will be desperate not to miss that event, the second Grand Slam of the year, so their abundance of caution is no surprise.

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Analysis from Charlie Eccleshare

Despite not playing in Madrid these last two weeks, surely the big winner from the men’s tournament has been Novak Djokovic.

Watching on from his home in Monte Carlo, Djokovic has seen his three main rivals succumb to injury, at a time when there is only one significant tournament between now and the French Open.

World No 2 Jannik Sinner was forced to withdraw from Madrid with a right hip injury, while world No 3 Alcaraz has pulled out of the Italian Open, which begins in Rome next week. The world No 4 Daniil Medvedev also has to be a doubt to defend the title he won last year, as he battles a groin issue.

These withdrawals mean that all of Djokovic’s three main rivals will arrive in Paris at least somewhat undercooked.

Fourteen-time winner Rafael Nadal will also be considered a threat to reigning Roland Garros champion Djokovic, but the Spaniard  has some pretty major fitness concerns of his own as he tries to find match sharpness after a lengthy absence. In the shorter term, the absence of Sinner, Alcaraz and Medvedev has suddenly created a window of opportunity for a few players in Madrid.

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The four semi-finalists are Taylor Fritz, Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger Aliassime and Jiri Lehecka. The latter has enjoyed a very promising start to 2024, but Fritz, Rublev and Auger-Aliassime have all been struggling of late. Could one of them push on and use this week as a platform for the French Open?

Rublev would appear the most likely candidate given he has twice reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros; Auger-Aliassime’s most significant achievement there was taking Nadal to five sets in the fourth round two years ago.

The potential absence of three leading men also opens up the draw in Rome, where the courts play more similarly to Roland Garros than the quicker conditions in Madrid, which is played at a higher altitude. Former French Open finalists Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas will be among those who might spy an opportunity, but the expectation is that the man who will really capitalise on any physical weakness in his rivals over the next few weeks is Djokovic.

The hope is that by the time the French Open rolls around, Sinner, Alcaraz and Medvedev will be fit and ready to go. But these are significant events for them to be missing, even if rankings points wise they all have enough of a buffer to the players just below the world’s top four.

(Photo: Matteo Villalba/Getty Images)

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