March 28, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz‘s run at the Rolex Paris Masters came to a sudden end on Friday as an abdominal problem forced him to retire late in his quarter-final match against Holger Rune. He dropped a 6-3 opening set to the Dane and began to feel the issue at the end of the second set, ultimately retiring while trailing 1/3 in the tie-break.

“At the end of the set, it was wrong,” he said of the abdominal issue. “It was getting wrong and I preferred to retire and see it, and take care [of] it.”

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Despite the unfortunate end to the entertaining contest — a rematch of the pair’s meeting at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals — Alcaraz is hopeful of a fast and full recovery before his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, which begins 13 November. If he can maintain his position as World No. 1 in Turin, the 19-year-old will become the youngest year-end No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“I have the Nitto [ATP] Finals,” he said, when asked if he was looking forward to the end of a gruelling season in which he’s played 70 matches, winning 57. “I have some tests on how it’s going to be before Turin. But right now I’m focused to try to get better in the abdominal and trying to be at 100 per cent in Turin.”

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Alcaraz cited struggles with his serve and forehand as the reason for his retirement, saying he felt the issue when he stretched or turned his body.

“I feel the abdominal in so many movements,” he explained. “Yeah, I was thinking about it. Playing like that with some problems and some things in my mind, it’s better to retire.”

While he said this was the first time he felt this particular injury, he also shared that it is “in a zone that I have problems, I have [had] problems before.”

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