WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz has a ‘ball on his ankle’ after unfortunate Rio Open incident

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz injured
Carlos Alcaraz after falling during his tennis match

It was not a happy return to the Rio Open for Carlos Alcaraz as disaster struck just two points into his opening match against Thiago Monteiro.

Having finished runner-up to Cameron Norrie at last year’s tournament, the two-time Grand Slam winner was hoping for another deep run at the ATP 500 event.

However, his campaign ended in unfortunate circumstances with the match coming to an end after just 18 minutes on the clock with only two games completed.

The unlucky incident came on the second point of the match when Alcaraz tried to change direction after Monteiro hit a return to his left. The Spaniard’s right ankle got caught in the clay and he rolled his ankle pretty badly.

The world No 2 collapsed to the floor and he was in clear pain.

He required help from his Brazilian opponent Monteiro to make it back to his bench where he received treatment from ATP physio Alejandro Resnicoff, who strapped his ankle.

His ankle was badly swollen, but he revealed later that the physio told him it was not too serious and should try to play on.

“The physio told me it was not too serious… because I felt, I felt bad. That was the first impression I had,” he explained.

“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.”

Tennis journalist José Morón wrote: “The height of bad luck. Carlos Alcaraz twists his ankle in a very bad way. It doesn’t look good. He has a ball on his ankle, literally.”

Despite being in discomfort, Alcaraz continued and broke the Brazilian’s serve and continued for another game before throwing in the towel with the score at 1-1.

Alcaraz left the court without crutches, but he was seen limping as he made his way out of the court and eventually left on a golf cart.

The Spaniard, who is now 10-3 in Rio, is next due to play an exhibition event against Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas on March 3 while his next ATP event is the Indian Wells Open where he is the defending champion. He will have just over two weeks to recover from his ankle injury with the ATP Masters 1000 tournament getting underway on March 6.

Alcaraz is yet to reach a final in 2024 as he lost against Alexander Zverev in the quarter-final of the Australian Open while last week he was stunned by Nicolas Jarry in the semi-final of the Argentina Open.

READ MORE: Distraught Carlos Alcaraz gives injury update after Rio retirement