Carlos Alcaraz gives tennis fans hope about a quick return from his ankle injury

Alcaraz versus Nadal might still happen.

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Early in his first-round match at the Rio Open this week, Carlos Alcaraz turned his ankle and fell. He limped around a bit trying to get a feel of if he could continue playing or not. The court-side doctor checked the ankle out and advised Alcaraz to try to play for a couple of more games but Alcaraz quickly realized that might be a mistake. Alcaraz was forced to withdraw from the Rio Open. He will have tests run on his ankle to see how bad the injury is.

In his post-match press conference, however, the No. 2 ranked player on the ATP tour gave tennis fans a little hope that he might not be out as long as it first seemed when he limped off the court and then was carted away into the locker room. In fact, Alcaraz said he was told by doctors that the ankle injury did not appear too grave and that he hopes to recover enough to play in The Netflix Slam against Rafael Nadal.

The exhibition match is scheduled for March 3, so two weeks away. The match will be played between Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal and will take place at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Netflix will carry the match free for ad-free subscribers. There is obviously a lot of money that is tied up in the event with Netflix producing and two great players participating.

There is hope for a speedy Carlos Alcaraz recovery

The hope is that Alcaraz, who likely is getting paid quite a bit for participating, is not simply going to rush back to play because of the money the event will generate. While tennis fans would likely love seeing the low-stress match, real tournaments are much more important. The first ATP Masters 1000 event of 2024, Indian Wells, begins March 6. Alcaraz playing there should ultimately be more important than him playing for Netflix against Nadal.

Another positive aspect from Carlos Alcaraz's post-match press conference was when he said doctors told him the injury did not seem bad. Plus, he was able to at least walk on the ankle immediately after being hurt. That is also a good sign.

Hopefully, Alcaraz is correct and he will bounce back quickly. But he should not feel the need to rush either. Playing well for most of the year is more important than missing a couple of events and The Netflix Slam.

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