Distraught Carlos Alcaraz gives injury update after Rio retirement

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz injured
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain falls and injures his ankle

Carlos Alcaraz’s nightmare start to the 2024 season continued on Tuesday as he was forced to retire from his Rio Open clash after picking up an ankle injury early in the match.

Just two points into his first-round encounter against Thiago Monteiro, Alcaraz found himself at the back of the court and tried to change direction quickly, but his right foot got caught in the ground and he rolled his ankle.

He slumped to the floor and took a while to get back onto his feet before moving to his bench where he had his ankle strapped by Alejandro Resnicoff, the ATP physio.

The world No 2 eventually took his place on the court again and broke Monteiro’s serve, but the Brazilian returned the favour and broke in the next game to make it 1-1.

After 18 minutes on the clock with only 10 of them used for actual playing, Alcaraz walked to the net and shook Monteiro’s hand to signal his retirement.

“Tomorrow I’ll have a test for my ankle and let’s see if it’s something serious or not,” he said.

“The physio told me it was not too serious… because I felt, I felt bad. That was the first impression I had. I mean, I was feeling pain once I fall down, so I thought that it was going to be difficult to continue playing if I was still having those feelings.

“The physio told me to continue the game and see what happens. After a few points it didn’t feel better. I was feeling the pain. I couldn’t move well, and I knew that it was going to be impossible to continue. I thought it was going to get worse if I kept playing for such a long match and that’s why I choose to retire.”

Alcaraz was able to leave the court without crutches, but he was seen badly limping when he made his way to the locker rooms.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s 2024 tennis schedule as Wimbledon champion’s first five events of new season are confirmed

The two-time Grand Slam winner is now 7-3 for the 2024 campaign as he lost in the quarter-final of the Australian Open while he was stunned in the semi-final of the Argentina Open last week.

His next event is the Netflix Slam against tennis great Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas on March 3 and after that he is due to defend his Indian Wells Open title from March 6.

Monteiro now holds a 2-0 lead against Alcaraz in their head-to-head battle with his previous win coming in 2021 in Melbourne.

“This is so strange, it was the second point of the match,” the world No 117 said. On the court it didn’t look so serious, but then I saw it in the big screen and it was a bad twist. Now I can only cheer for him to recover, he is a star, a dominant one in the new generation.”