Potential implications of Carlos Alcaraz's ankle injury

If Alcaraz is sidelined for an extended period, a lot is at stake for him

Buda Mendes/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Carlos Alcaraz's 2024 season potentially went from bad to worse on Tuesday night in Rio when he rolled his right ankle during his match and was forced to retire. Alcaraz fell awkwardly on the second point of the match against Thiago Monteiro. He asked for the trainer and attempted to continue but ultimately retired at 1-1. Alcaraz limped off the court before getting on a golf cart to go to the locker room. He looked dejected and very concerned.

To begin with, tennis fans do not want to see any player injured during a match much less the defending champion of the event. Everyone wanted to see Alcaraz shake it off and be able to continue. However, the ankle immediately swelled, and it was obvious he would not be able to continue.

It has been discussed often that Alcaraz has not won a tournament since the 2023 Wimbledon Championships over Novak Djokovic. Could this injury be the reason that this streak continues?

What about the Netflix Slam and Indian Wells?

Alcaraz's calendar is jam-packed. He has the highly touted Netflix Slam, a live event against Rafael Nadal scheduled for March 3. Indian Wells is slated to begin on March 6, and Alcaraz is the defending champion. Alcaraz told the media that the physio does not believe it is a serious injury. As of Tuesday evening at his press conference, Alcaraz expects to be ready for the Netflix Slam, but this is a very preliminary assessment.

This is good news since many fans had a bad deja vu comparison to Alexander Zverev's 2022 catastrophic French Open injury during his match with Rafael Nadal. It is worth noting that regardless of the severity, ankle injuries can be tricky to deal with because of the twisting and turning of the feet in shot-making, the service motion, and general mobility around the court.

Tennis players have a long season and packed schedules every year and even more so in an Olympic year. Hopefully, Alcaraz's injury is minor and requires little rest and rehab time off the court. The sport is much more exciting with his charisma and athletic prowess on display each week.

Read more on Lob and Smash

manual