World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will miss the first Grand Slam of the year due to a leg injury he picked up during training, he announced on Friday.
The 19-year-old described the issue as being in the semimembranosus muscle of his right thigh. He added that he will also have to miss the CareA2+ Kooyong Classic in Melbourne next week.
I'd worked so hard to get to my best level for Australia but unfortunately I won't be able to play the Care A2+ Kooyong or the Australian Open. It's tough, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look forward. See you in 2024 @AustralianOpen ❤️— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) January 6, 2023
Alcaraz reached the top of the tennis mountaintop last year with his thrilling win at the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam victory in a career expected to see many more. He also notched two ATP 1000 Masters wins at the Miami Open and Madrid Open and two more wins at the Rio Open and Barcelona Open.
By the end of the season, Alcaraz was the youngest man to ever reach world No. 1 status, and the tennis world was understandably excited to see where he would go from there.
Injuries have been a problem for Alcaraz in the past, with the Spaniard missing the ATP Finals last year due to a muscle tear in his abdomen and the Italian Open due to an ankle injury.
This also means the Australian Open will be played without the world No. 1 for the second straight year. As you might remember, Novak Djokovic was kicked out of the country over his refusal to get vaccinated and a dispute over his visa paperwork.
There will be no such issue this time, as Djokovic is already in Australia and preparing for the tournament.