Former Wimbledon winner admits he regrets snubbing Carlos Alcaraz for Andy Murray

Carlos Alcaraz in actino

Being a tournament director is never easy as things can get very tricky when it comes to handing out wildcards and Rotterdam Open boss Richard Krajicek admits he laments one of his decisions back in 2021.

This year marks 1996 Wimbledon winner Krajicek’s 20th anniversary as ABN AMRO Open tournament director and he recently revealed in an interview how he opted not to give one Carlos Alcaraz a wildcard just before the Spaniard made his breakthrough.

Back in 2021, the 17-year-old Alcaraz’s management team asked for a wildcard for the ATP 500 event, but Krajicek opted for the more experienced Andy Murray that year.

“Sometimes things go well, sometimes things go against you. In 2021, Alcaraz asked for a wildcard to play in Rotterdam. I preferred to give that to Andy Murray,” Krajicek told Langs de Lijn En Omstreken.

“You don’t want that to happen again, to say ‘no’ to tomorrow’s number one.”

The reason behind Krajicek’s decision made sense at the time as Alcaraz was still outside the top 100 in the ATP Rankings while Murray was a bigger lure as he was a three-time Grand Slam winner and former world No 1.

However, the Dutchman admits he regrets saying “no” to a future world No 1 as the 2021 season turned out to be Alcaraz’s breakthrough campaign as later that year he won his maiden title at the Croatia Open and finished the year at No 32.

The following year he took it up several notches as he won his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open and became the youngest-ever world No 1.

Alcaraz is yet to feature on the hard courts of Rotterdam as following that snub he opted to head to South America and regularly competes in Argentina and Brazil during the ATP’s post-Australian Open swing.

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

Former world No 4 Krajicek is hoping to avoid making similar mistakes as he has handed wildcards to 18-year-old Dino Prizmic, who took a set off world No 1 Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open this year.

There will be a high-class field in Rotterdam again this year with newly-crowned Australian Open winner Jannik Sinner the headline act along with world No 5 Andrey Rublev, world No 6 Holger Rune and world No 8 Hubert Hurkacz.

However, Daniil Medvedev won’t be back to defend his title as he withdrew from the tournament as he is still recovering after spending more than 24 hours on court during his runners-up finish at the Australian Open.