Rio de Janeiro

Alcaraz suffers ankle injury in Rio opener, retires after two games

Spaniard injured ankle just two points into his opening match
February 21, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz receives treatment from an ATP physiotherapist after hurting his ankle against Thiago Monteiro Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.
AFP/Getty Images
Carlos Alcaraz receives treatment from an ATP physiotherapist after hurting his ankle against Thiago Monteiro Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro. By ATP Staff

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz suffered an ankle injury just two points into his Rio Open presented by Claro opening-round match against Thiago Monteiro and retired shortly after despite a valiant attempt to continue the match.

After hitting a forehand return from the Ad court, Alcaraz was moving laterally back towards the centre of the court when Monteiro went back in behind him. The Spaniard planted his right foot to halt his momentum, but his right ankle rolled badly and he fell to the ground on his backside.


With Monteiro’s help, the World No. 2 made his way back to his bench and had his ankle heavily strapped by ATP physio Alejandro Resnicoff. He returned to the court and broke the Brazilian to take a 1-0 lead. But his movement was compromised and he retired after dropping serve in the next game.

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“Tomorrow I’ll have a test for my ankle and let's see if it's something serious or not,” Alcaraz said. 

“I felt, I felt bad. That was the first impression I had. I mean, I was feeling pain once I fall down, so I thought that it was going to be difficult to continue playing if I was still having those feelings.

“After a few points it didn't feel better. I was feeling the pain. I couldn't move well, and I knew that it was going to be impossible to continue. I thought it was going to get worse if I kept playing for such a long match and that’s why I choose to retire.”

Alcaraz, who made his ATP Tour debut in Rio in 2020, won the title in 2022 (d. Schwartzman) and finished runner-up to Cameron Norrie in 2023.

The setback will not help the Spaniard in his battle to defend the No. 2 Pepperstone ATP Ranking from surging Italian Jannik Sinner. The reigning Wimbledon champion leads Sinner by just 535 points and has 1000 points to defend next month as the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Speaking in his press conference, Monteiro said, “This is so strange, it was the second point of the match. On the court it didn't look so serious, but then I saw it in the big screen and it was a bad twist. Now I can only cheer for him to recover, he is a star, a dominant one in the new generation."

Monteiro now officially has a 2-0 Lexus ATP Head2Head lead over Alcaraz, having defeated the former World No. 1 in their only previous meeting at the Melbourne-1 ATP 250 in 2021.

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