Carlos Alcaraz suffers Australian Open blow as reason is revealed for his coach being unable to attend

Ewan West
Carlos Alcaraz during a tennis match
Carlos Alcaraz reacts after a point

Carlos Alcaraz has suffered an unfortunate blow as it has been revealed his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero will be unable to accompany him at the 2024 Australian Open. 

Ferrero will not make the trip to Melbourne as he requires arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will need to use crutches after the operation.

Alcaraz will instead be joined in Australia by experienced Spanish coach Samuel Lopez, who works with former world No 10 Pablo Carreno Busta, as reported by Marca.

Lopez accompanied Alcaraz at the Queen’s Club Championships this year as the 20-year-old claimed his first grass-court title at the ATP 500 tournament.

The Spaniard coached former world No 1 Ferrero and works at the Juan Carlos (JC) Ferrero Tennis Academy in Alicante, Spain. The 53-year-old has also trained retired Spanish ATP pros Nicolas Almagro and Guillermo Garcia Lopez.

Ferrero has coached Alcaraz since 2019 when he was a 16-year-old and has played an integral role in the Spanish star’s rise to the top of the sport.

Alcaraz became the youngest world No 1 in ATP history after claiming his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2022 at the age of 19.

The 20-year-old edged seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in an epic five-set final at the All England Club in July to win his second Major crown.

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The world No 2 has won 12 ATP titles overall in his career to date – four of which have come at ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in 2023 due to a leg injury, with Djokovic downing Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim a record-extending 10th crown at the event.

The Spaniard has made huge strides since last competing at the Melbourne Grand Slam in 2022, when he was beaten in five sets by Matteo Berrettini in the third round.

Ferrero was asked last month asked if exhibition play will be enough to prepare Alcaraz for the Australian Open, with the world No 2 not entering any ATP tournaments in the lead-up to the Major.

“One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking. This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early,” Ferrero told Marca.

“Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm. Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s pre-season schedule: Key dates ahead of 2024 Australian Open revealed