Alcaraz 'Couldn't Practice At High Intensity' Before Indian Wells Due To Ankle Injury

Alcaraz 'Couldn't Practice At High Intensity' Before Indian Wells Due To Ankle Injury

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz shared his post-match thoughts pertaining to his fitness following his opening win at the 2024 Indian Wells Masters.

The defending champion was forced to sharpen his sword after dropping the first-set tie-break to Italian rising star Matteo Arnaldi. The set was played at breakneck speed, with Arnaldi matching Alcaraz for power and placement to take the lead.

But Alcaraz was a rejuvenated player in the second and third sets, playing some of his very best tennis to turn the match around and powered through to the third round with a commanding 6-7, 6-0, 6-1 win.

The Spaniard acknowledged that his preparations for this year's tournament had been partially affected by the ankle injury he sustained at the Rio Open last month.

There were doubts about Alcaraz's involvement at the Sunshine Swing until an MRI scan provided conclusive results about the extent and severity of the injury.

While the two-time Grand Slam champion returned to the courts in record time, he stated that he remained cautious about the injury during practice.

"I'm coming here with not too many matches. I think last year I came here with more matches in my bag with more rhythm. Now I'm recovering from injury on the ankle. I was thinking about it all the time and I couldn't practise as much as I wanted, with the high intensity."

The 20-year-old was unsure about how his ankle would respond in an intense and competitive match. Because of that unpredictability, he was nervy for the best part of one set in which his decision-making was affected.

"But right now I'm getting better and feeling really, really well. But I think I have to get a good rhythm step by step. I think that's the big difference between last year and this one."

"This [is a] really special tournament for me. I want to do it well. This is the first match playing high intensity and I didn't know how it's going respond, the ankle. [There were] a lot of things coming to my mind. I couldn't be focused 100 per cent in the match and it made me get a little bit nervous."

Alcaraz's next test will come in the shape of 31st seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round. The Canadian cruised past France's Constant Lestienne 6-4, 6-1.


You may also like