Philosophical Alcaraz hoping for quick return: ‘It is what it is’

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World No. 3 remains hopeful of competing in Madrid later this month

Having withdrawn Sunday from the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell due to a right forearm injury, Carlos Alcaraz visited the ATP 500 event a day later to provide an update on his progress and prospects as the European clay season continues.

The No. 3 in the PIF ATP Rankings, who missed last week’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters due to the same injury, emphasised his sadness at missing the chance to compete in Barcelona, where he lifted the title in 2022 and 2023. He remains hopeful he will be able to compete at another event that he has won the past two years, the Mutua Madrid Open, which begins on 24 April.

“I won’t be able to play in Barcelona, but I wanted to come to the tournament,” said Alcaraz in a press conference on Monday afternoon. “I wanted to come and explain in my own words. This is a club I’ve spent a lot of my life at, I wanted to do it in person and talk about my current situation.

“The pain started in the first practice session in Monte-Carlo. After an hour my forearm was feeling particularly uncomfortable. At the time I didn’t think it would be anything important. My team and I treated it as well as possible, doing tests to see what the problem was. I couldn’t recover in time to play in Monte-Carlo so I returned home to see if, with recovery, days, practice, and patience, I would be able to arrive in Barcelona as fit as possible.”

🇪🇸 @carlosalcaraz will be unable to defend his title at the @bcnopenbs after he was forced to withdraw from the ATP 500 due to a right arm injury.

Alcaraz wanted to give himself every chance of defending his crown at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, but the tournament ultimately came too soon for him to compete.

“I took a test on Saturday morning, which produced some pretty positive images,” said Alcaraz. “That gave me hope I could play in the tournament. But Sunday was the litmus test for us. It was the first day I hit forehands after the practice session in Monte-Carlo and it wasn’t as we expected. I could feel it again.

“Every time I upped the intensity of the forehand, it became more uncomfortable. It was a difficult decision as it’s a very important and special tournament for me. Taking the decision not to come was difficult for me, for my family and for my team.”

Despite still being unsure of how long his arm needs to heal, Alcaraz remains cautiously optimistic of taking to court at Madrid’s Caja Magica next week.

“My feeling isn’t right, but it is what it is,” Alcaraz said at a press conference on Monday afternoon. “Now I’m fully focused on recovery, and I have a little more time. My goal is to try and go to the Mutua Madrid Open, but at the moment nothing is certain. I was given specific recovery times and I’ve respected them, but I haven’t felt good. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

“I can’t say I’ll be 100 per cent in Madrid, but that’s my intention. We’ll train and do everything we can so that the feelings improve so I can play a tennis match. Hopefully I can enjoy the fans in Madrid and play at home. It’s also a very special tournament for me.”

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