Carlos Alcaraz ignored pleas to retire in Rio, expected to withdraw from Acapulco

Carlos Alcaraz takes a break Credit: Alamy
Carlos Alcaraz takes a break Credit: Alamy

It is highly unlikely that Carlos Alcaraz will compete at the Mexican Open this week with one of his coaches fearing that they will be taking too big a risk by going from clay to hard court without any practice.

Alcaraz has struggled with injuries the past few months as he was forced to withdraw from the season-ending ATP Finals due to an abdominal injury while he missed the Australian Open due to a hamstring problem.

He finally made his 2023 debut on the clay in Buenos Aires and won the title. He followed it up with another run to the final at the Rio Open – also on clay – but this time he lost against Cameron Norrie.

His injury woes returned in Brazil as he battled with a leg problem during his semi-final victory and the injury flared up again against Norrie as he needed treatment during the match.

Antonio Martinez Cascales, one of his coaches, admitted that they would have preferred if he retired during the final, but Alcaraz was not keen.

“We considered it [retiring], but he wanted to continue,” Cascales told daily La Razon. “There are players who find it very difficult to retire during the course of a match.”

Alcaraz is next set to feature on the hard-courts of Acapulco and he is the top seed for the Mexican Open. His first match against Mackenzie McDonald is scheduled for Tuesday evening.

The Spaniard, though, underwent an MRI scan on Monday and they are still awaiting the results, but it won’t be a surprise if the teenager withdraws.

“I hope it’s a simple contracture,” Cascales said.

“But it’s difficult for him to play in Acapulco because of the surface change and without having any previous training.”

Alcaraz’s injury problems in Rio also prompted respected tennis journalist Steve Flink to caution him against playing too many events following his long injury layoff.

“I certainly hope he wouldn’t try to make this – three straight weeks and go on to Acapulco. That could be a dangerous move. I strongly suspect he will not make that mistake,” he said.

The teenager has a busy schedule for the next few months as after the Acapulco event he is due to play in the hard-court Sunshine Double – the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open before heading to Europe for the clay-court season.

He also has a lot of points to defend as he reached the semi-final in Indian Wells and won the Miami Open while he won the Barcelona Open and Madrid Open on the red dirt.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is he competing next and his season so far…

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