Javier Sanchez

Updated Wednesday, February 21, 2024-10:51

  • News Alcaraz leaves the Rio Open after spraining his ankle

This time

Carlos Alcaraz

took a risk.

Two seasons ago, in 2022, at only 18 years old, his first visit to Brazil was perfect. There he won his first ATP 500 tournament, entered the top 20 in the world ranking and started the momentum that would lead him in the following months to win the Masters 1000 in Miami and Madrid and the US Open. Last season, in 2023, visiting South America didn't go bad either. Although in Rio de Janeiro he fell in the final against the British

Cameron Norrie

, he had previously won at the ATP 250 in Buenos Aires and the tour offered him the rhythm that launched him towards the titles at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Madrid and at Wimbledon.

But this time Carlos Alcaraz took a risk.

With more work than on his previous visits, the Spaniard returned to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro with more to lose and the tour ended this Tuesday with the worst luck. The intention was the same, to complete two tournaments in two friendly places and against affordable rivals, but the result this time was adverse. In the Argentine ATP 250, Alcaraz fell in the semifinals against the Chilean

Nicolás Jarry

and multiplied some doubts that his defeat in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open had generated. And in the Brazilian ATP 500 he couldn't play directly.

The time of injury

A few minutes into his first match, against local

Thiago Monteiro

, he sprained his right ankle and had to retire due to pain. According to the first examinations, it is a simple grade I sprain, that is, 10 days of rest will be enough to reduce the inflammation and return to the slopes. But the break was not what he needed now. "Both my physio and the ATP's physio believe that it is not something serious," declared the number two in the world ranking, who also showed his concern. Next week, on Sunday the 3rd, he faces an exhibition match against

Rafa Nadal

in Las Vegas and, more importantly, then he has the American tour with the Masters 1000 in Miami and Indian Wells and many points to defend.

In any case, what happened will change your planning for the coming seasons. After playing on cement at the Australian Open, switching to clay and then returning to cement in the United States is not ideal and he already knew that, but he had committed to the Brazilian tournament. His own coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, admitted this week in an interview with 'Clay' that the ideal would be for him to have stayed on the hard court and perhaps compete in the ATP 500 in Rotterdam as

Jannik Sinner

or the ATP 500 in Acapulco. It will be another year.

This time Carlos Alcaraz took a risk. And he couldn't get away with it.