Carlos Alcaraz under-fire for ‘supporting torture of animals’ after controversial appearance

Alcaraz attending a bullfighting event in Murcia

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has attracted positive publicity throughout his glorious rise to the top of the game, but he may be about to discover the other end of that story after a contentious appearance on Monday.

Alcaraz was photographed at the Plaza de Toros de La Condomina in Murcia on Monday, with the reaction on social media predictable hostile.

Reports in Spain confirmed that Alcaraz was given a huge round of applause when he appeared in the alley of the bullring before greeting a few fans as he took his seat in the company of prominent Spanish bullfighter Peperin Liria and former football coach Jose Antonio Camacho.

Fundación Toro Lidia, the organisation that arranges bullfighting in Spain, shared the images of Alcaraz at their event on social media.

That attention is certain to be ramped up now after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) posted an image of Alcaraz at the bull ring with a pointed message attached.

Addressing Alcaraz directly, the message started with the line: “Bullfighting is torture, not culture.”

It went on to criticise the former world No 1, with these comments:

“There is nothing entertaining about the stabbing and torturing of animals – and the majority of young people in Spain reject bullfighting as the bloodsport it is.

“Please don’t support bullfighting and pledge to never attend another fight again.”

Alcaraz has yet to answer the criticism surrounding his appearance at the bullring.

The appearance comes as Alcaraz takes some time away from tennis following his decision to withdraw from Spain’s Davis CUp team due to fatigue.

The 20-year-old had a draining few weeks following his Wimbledon win in July, as he played an epic final at the Cincinnati Masters against Novak Djokovic and then made it through to the semi-finals of the US Open against Daniil Medvedev.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic with a message for Carlos Alcaraz as he prepares for Davis Cup return

“I was really looking forward to playing for Spain at the Davis Cup in Valencia, but I have to listen to my body after a very long tour,” he explained as he pulled out of Spain’s Davis Cup team.

“The calendar is very demanding, there is still a lot of season left, and now I have to recharge my batteries.

“I don’t think I’m gonna think about this loss (against Medvedev) for a long time. Of course, I have to learn about it. I want to be better. You know, these kind of matches help you a lot to be better and grow up in these kind of situations.

“I have to talk with my team, with Juan Carlos, and how I can be better, but days, weeks, but not much longer than that.”

He played his final games in New York with strapping on his left leg, yet it seems he will not be out of the headlines for long after his decision to attend a bullfight.

Alcaraz has managed his public relations immaculately during his rapid rise to the top of tennis, but this appears to be a huge gaff.

While bullfighting remains popular in Spain, the wider world look on the events with a critical eye and it will be interesting to see if this incident has any long-term impact on Alcaraz’s popularity among tennis fans.