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Rafael Nadal’s delayed return from injury and subsequent unavailability to play in Monte Carlo Masters took some shine from the event. Compatriot Carlos Alcaraz will also not line up at the event, taking further glamour away from it.
The clay court king was the first name on the Monte Carlo roster but had to be struck out as he has only begun intensive training. Nadal’s rehabilitation following a hip injury in January has not gone according to plan and needs extra time to be at competition level.
While the 22-time Grand Slam winner’s decision to miss the event was anticipated, Alcaraz pulling out has come as a surprise. The 19-year-old defeated Daniil Medvedev in Indian Wells and was only ousted from the Miami Open in the semi-finals.
Alcaraz shared that he was evaluated by the medical team who diagnosed him with post-traumatic arthritic, which needs to be looked at. The reigning US Open champion had discomfort in his left hand and spin.
“After two months of competing, I’m happy to be back home but sad that I finished my semifinal match in Miami with soreness,” he wrote. “After visiting my doctor @drlopezmartinez in Murcia today and being evaluated, I will not be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the tour on the ground.
“I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest to face everything that is to come. See you in 2024 @ROLEXMCMASTERS!”
After two months abroad, I am happy to return home but sad because I finished my last match in Miami with physical discomfort. After visiting my doctor @drlopezmartinez in Murcia today and being evaluated, I will not be able to go to Monte Carlo to start the clay court tour. pic.twitter.com/UsJzejm1WC
— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) April 4, 2023
Team Alcaraz is monitoring ‘everything’
Despite his tender years in tennis, this is another injury setback for Alcaraz. He missed the Australian Open due to an abdomen injury and only returned to action in February with the Argentine Open.
In his semi-final defeat in Miami, Alcaraz had pointed at suffering from cramps. It is a continued pattern that saw him hurting his legs in the final in Rio as well.
Juan Carlos Ferrero played down Alcaraz’s injury, stating that these are part and parcel of the game. He admitted that his star pupil is on a regiment and the backroom staff are managing it on his behalf.
“Injuries in tennis are normal,” Ferrero said. “We made some changes these latest times, on small details of his journey. We monitor everything, tuned up here and there.”
“Everything is really good now.
“And don’t forget that everything was so stressful after he won the US Open. All the people came to see him to say: ‘You’re so good, blah blah blah’… It’s difficult to practice like before and to do more things for the sponsors and everything. Now he’s on the way again. And we can see it on the court.”
Tough start for clay court season
Nadal and Alcaraz are not the only top ATP players excusing themselves from the Monte Carlo Masters. Felix Auger-Aliassime, Pablo Carreno Busta and Denis Shapovalov will also be absent at the event.
Hardcourt specialist? 🤣🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/37VMhan12c
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) April 2, 2023
Bow outs from other ranked stars can also be on the cards. Rumour mill is strife with Daniil Medvedev also looking to take a break after his historic competitive run. The Russian has made it to the final of five successive tournaments, triumphing on four occasions. With slimming rival quality, Medvedev will likely force himself to play through.
Fans will hope for a quick turnaround in the fates of the tennis stars. Barcelona Open and Madrid Masters are right around the corner
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