Spain suffered yet another setback in their bid to defend their Davis Cup title, with Carlos Alcaraz being ruled out from competition after testing positive for Covid-19.
At the moment, I am very well, with very mild symptoms, and we will see how it progresses, said the 18-year-old Spaniard in a statement put out on Twitter.
The latest development comes as a huge blow, with Spain already missing the services of 20-time Grand Slam champ Rafael Nadal, who pulled the plug on his 2021 season in August, due to a left foot injury, as well as Roberto Bautista Agut, who’d to pull out from the tournament earlier this week, owing to an abdominal injury.
Alcaraz will remain in isolation while the rest of the Spanish team awaits results from a fresh round of PCR tests, as per a tournament statement. Meanwhile, world No. 60 Pedro Martinez will take up Alcaraz’s spot in the team.
Alcaraz enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2021, winning his first ATP title in July, defeating Richard Gasquet in the final of Croatia Open, reaching the US Open quarter-finals, and recently lifting the Next Gen ATP Finals trophy.
Spain opens its title defense against Ecuador on Friday in Madrid.
Alcaraz will be cheering on his teammates from the sidelines.
A lot of encouragement to the whole team, I will be cheering and watching on television,
Nadal also took to Twitter to share words of encouragement and wished for the well-being of his fellow compatriots.
Much encouragement to the entire Spanish team after the news we received today, he wrote.
When something like this happens, the competition takes a back seat. The most important thing is health, and I hope there are no more cases.
The Davis Cup Finals plays host to 18 nations that will compete across three cities: Innsbruck, Madrid, and Turin, with the semi-finals and final being held in Madrid from 3 to 5 December.