Daniil Medvedev says it is "a shame" that the Australian Open does not feature world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz. On Friday, Alcaraz surprised everyone by announcing his withdrawal from the Australian Open. In his statement, Alcaraz announced that he suffered an injury to his right leg during the preseason.
"It's a shame. I don't know exactly what he has, if it's a little bit a consequence of a previous injury or just a new one. I'm not on his team, so I have no idea. It is a pity. He is one of the best players in the world. We played once (Wimbledon 2021), but he was not at the same level.
We may not even count it," Medvedev said of Alcaraz's absence at the Australian Open. Alcaraz was not signed up to play any ATP events prior to the Australian Open. However, he did sign up to compete in the Kooyong Classic, a popular exhibition tournament in Australia.
There were no indications that Alcaraz had an injury or anything like that, as Kooyong's organizers were preparing to host the Spaniard next week. But on Friday Alcaraz surprised everyone with his announcement. "When I was at my best in pre-season, I was injured by a random and unnatural movement in training.
This time it's the semimembranosus muscle in my right leg. I had worked very hard to get to my best level for Australia, but unfortunately I won't be able to play the Care A2+ Kooyong nor the Australian Open. It's hard, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look ahead.
See you in 2024," Alcaraz announced on Instagram. The Australian Open thus loses a player who would have been considered among the contenders for the title.
Alcaraz was injured in training
Carlos Alcaraz's impact on tennis means he "could be the single most important player we have ever had", reckons seven-time major winner Mats Wilander.
"I have said that I think if Alcaraz can keep winning - and I've even told [Alcaraz's coach] Juan Carlos Ferrero this in private - he could turn out to be the single most important tennis player that we have ever had in our sport.
People are going to say, what do you mean? Isn't Roger Federer...? Isn't Rafael Nadal...? Yes, they are absolutely, incredibly important. But here you have a guy who is trying so hard, he is so fast, he is playing with so many different shots, and he's serving and volleying at 15-30.
He's 19 years old! He's hitting drop shots at 15-30, he's 19 years old! Then he dives, and at the end of it, he's smiling and he's laughing."