Rio de Janeiro | Alcaraz out injured.

Disaster for the Rio Open organisers as their top star, the world No,2 Carlos Alcaraz was forced to retire after just two games in his opening match against local boy, the wildcarded Thiago Monteiro.

Just 18-minutes into the match, the Spanish 20-year-old, last year’s finalist, had to retire having shared the first two games with his opponent, with a sprained right ankle which he suffered during the second point of the match.

In an accident somewhat reminiscent of the terrible one suffered by Alexander Zverev in the semi-final of 2022 Roland Garros, Alcaraz’s right foot “got stuck” in the clay as he turned to get back from the left side of the court.

He immediately crashed to the ground and called for a medical time-out but as soon as he took off his shoe, the swelling on his ankle was clear for all the see.

A tight bandage was applied and Alcaraz tried to continue the match but had to throw in the towel after two games, shaking hands with his opponent to limp off court.

The match was being played on a very heavy court due to rain fall during the day forcing the organisers to cancel the afternoon’s schedule but opening play in the evening.

Alcaraz didn’t blame the conditions, stating later: “I think these things happen, especially on clay. It wasn’t a problem with the court, I hurt myself in a change of direction and this happens on this type of surface. I went back into the match to see if I could continue or not. I spoke to the physiotherapist on the court, and we decided, together, that I would continue to see if the ankle would improve. It didn’t happen, so we preferred to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.”

The worry now is whether is the seriousness of the injury and the fact that he did attempt to continue and walked off the court under his own steam, would seem to indicate that it isn’t as serious as the one picked up Zverev in Roland Garros two years ago. That sidelined the German for some seven months.

Carlos Alcaraz, despite the strapping, was unable to continue his first round match

(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images,)



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