Carlos Alcaraz returns to court as No.1 status hangs in the balance
Carlos Alcaraz has reassured fans by sharing images of him back on court, after a ‘chance’ leg injury left him unable to participate at the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old has not played a professional match since the Paris Masters, back in November.
Back on court and back on clay! ? VAMOS! ?? pic.twitter.com/HSyS4stAyz
— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) January 20, 2023
Alcaraz took the world by storm in 2022, winning five titles in total, culminating at the US Open where he won his first Grand Slam. He was therefore crowned the youngest No.1, in New York, at 19 years and four months old.
“For me it’s a dream come true being No. 1 in the world, to be a Grand Slam champion,” Alcaraz said after becoming the 28th man to receive the No.1 trophy, “I feel like the No. 1, to have this trophy, it means a lot to me.“
He continued, “Everything has come so fast. I didn’t think at the beginning of the year that I’m going to have the year that I’m having right now. I always believe in my team and in my work, so this is something that came with the hard work that I put in every day, the hard preseason, the work during the year with my team. Everything pays off.”
The Spaniard may not be top of the rankings after the Australian Open however, as two of the top ATP players are breathing down his neck. Both Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas could become No.1 if they win the first major of the year.
Both, Djokovic and Tsitsipas, have booked their spots in the last eight with victories over Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner, respectively.
Alcaraz was practicing on clay, in the video he shared on social media, which is where he will begin his season as he takes to South America. The US Open champion will start in mid-February at an ATP 250 in Buenos Aires, before defending his title in Rio de Janeiro and then taking to the hard courts of Acapulco.
The teenager has spoken of his aims for the season, “Try to maintain the level of 2022 and continue to improve, both on a tennis level and on a mental level. I know it won’t be easy, but I like challenges and I hope to be prepared ”
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