July 16, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz hit a low point before going on to win the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz has revealed that he was left in tears just weeks before the French Open when an injury threatened to derail his clay season.

The world No. 2 missed the Monte-Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and Italian Open with a forearm problem. And he explained that it was “mental aguish” having to skip some of the most important tournaments.

But the decision to play it safe paid off and Alcaraz recovered in time for Roland Garros where he went on to lift his third Grand Slam title.
There were plenty of question marks surrounding the 21-year-old going into the second Slam of the season. His only European clay tournament in the lead-up was the Madrid Open, played at completely different conditions in altitude.

He suffered his first match loss in Madrid since 2021, going out to Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final and reaggravating his forearm injury. The French Open appeared to be touch-and-go as the Spaniard didn’t pick up a racket for days ahead of the tournament and admitted that he still couldn’t trust his forehand shot 100 per cent.

But he magically let go in the third round and went on to lift the trophy, coming back from two-sets-to-one down in both the semi-final and final. After collecting Grand Slam titles across all three surfaces, Alcaraz confessed that he had been in tears shortly before Roland Garros.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz was only able to play the Madrid Open in the lead-up to the French Open (Image: Getty)

“I tend to cry more out of frustration than out of happiness,” the world No. 2 told Marca. “I don’t cry a lot and with the topic of the last injury I have cried a couple of times when I had to miss tournaments that I was very excited about.”

Explaining just how much of a toll the injury took on him, Alcaraz added: “Mentally it was anguish because I use my right forearm for everything and I exert a lot of speed, a lot of strength in each hit and the forearm suffers a lot. It is an area in which I was very worried thinking that I was not going to recover.

“In Madrid it already bothered me in the fourth match and I couldn’t go to Rome. We had tests and all the things we had to do to get here as best as possible, but I kept thinking about what was going to happen because I do everything with my right arm.”

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz has been wearing a compression sleeve while playing (Image: Getty)

Alcaraz wore a compression sleeve on his right arm throughout the French Open even though he admitted after one match that it was partially a mental thing that helped him feel more comfortable. And he still doesn’t know when he will be taking the sleeve off.

“I don’t know because the grass is coming, with hard balls, it’s going to be a little complicated,” he explained. “At Wimbledon, in 2022, the elbow problem came back and I had to put on the brace. In the end, it will be [determined by] my feelings and it calms me down mentally.”

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