Tuesday June 18, 2024

Alcaraz hopes to shake off injury in quest for maiden title

By Reuters
May 22, 2024
Spains Carlos Alcaraz leaves court after his quarter final match against Russias Andrey Rublev.— Reuters/file
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz leaves court after his quarter final match against Russia's Andrey Rublev.— Reuters/file

PARIS: Carlos Alcaraz has won Grand Slams on grass and hardcourts but the Spaniard who broke into the men’s tour by making a name for himself as a claycourt specialist has yet to reach the final at the French Open.

Novak Djokovic denied last year’s top seed a place in the 2023 final but Alcaraz got revenge a month later when he quickly adapted to the faster grass courts and took the Serbian’s crown at Wimbledon, stopping him winning a fifth straight title there. However, Alcaraz has since lost his number one ranking and arrives at Roland Garros having had a far from ideal preparation after an injury cut short his claycourt swing this month.

The 21-year-old withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open due to a forearm injury and although he attempted to retain his title in Madrid, going out in the quarter-finals, he later skipped the Italian Open.

“I felt some pain after playing in Madrid, some discomfort in my arm ... I did some tests and I have a muscle edema in my pronator teres (forearm muscle), a consequence of my recent injury,” Alcaraz said when he withdrew from the Italian Open. “I need to rest so I can recover and play 100% pain free.” Alcaraz is one of several contenders coming into the most unpredictable French Open tournament in recent years.