Two-time champion Carlos Alcaraz withdraws from Barcelona

Carlos Alcaraz will not seek his third consecutive Barcelona Open title

by Jovica Ilic
Two-time champion Carlos Alcaraz withdraws from Barcelona
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz will not seek his third consecutive Barcelona Open title, withdrawing despite entering Saturday's draw. World no. 3 injured the pronator teres in his right arm while preparing for Monte Carlo, skipping the third Masters 1000 event of the season and failing to recover ahead of his favorite ATP 500 event.

The young gun trained on Sunday but did not feel good enough to compete next week. Carlos will visit the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 and publicly announce his withdrawal. Thus, the Spaniard will lose points and fall further behind Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner, his rivals for the ATP throne.

Alcaraz dropped out from the top-2 after 81 consecutive weeks, and he will have to work hard to get back there in Madrid and Rome.

Carlos Alcaraz, Monte Carlo 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos has already missed some notable events due to injuries, and he does not want to risk anything ahead of two Masters 1000 events and Roland Garros.

Alcaraz claimed his first notable titles in 2022, lifting the US Open trophy and becoming the youngest world no. 1 in ATP history. Carlos skipped last year's Australian Open before finding his form in February and March. The young gun defended his titles in Barcelona and Madrid and entered Roland Garros as world no.

1. Carlos fell to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, feeling cramps in the entire body and winning only two games in sets three and four. Alcaraz bounced back at Queen's and Wimbledon, conquering both events and becoming the favorite to finish another season at the top.

The Spaniard met Djokovic in that epic Cincinnati final, falling after an epic battle and losing ground by the end of the season. Carlos lost the US Open title and could not fight with Novak for the year-end no. 1 honor in the upcoming months.

The Spaniard missed the ATP Finals and Davis Cup Finals, finishing the year runner-up behind the Serb. Alcaraz made a fresh start at the Australian Open this January, beating four rivals and completing the quarter-final run at all four Majors.

Carlos played against Alexander Zverev and stood no chance by the middle of the third set, moving closer to the exit door. The Spaniard bounced back and stole the third set before falling in the fourth, ending his campaign earlier than expected.

Carlos Alcaraz, Monte Carlo 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from Barcelona.

Alcaraz went to South America and entered the clay swing, losing in the Buenos Aires semi-final and twisting his ankle in the opening minutes against Thiago Monteiro in Rio.

The Spaniard recovered by Indian Wells, playing well again and securing his fifth Masters 1000 trophy. Carlos took down Alexander Zverev, Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev en route to the trophy, delivering the Italian's first loss of the season and defending the title as the first player since Novak Djokovic.

Carlos grabbed a tight opener against Medvedev in the title clash and left him behind in set number two for a notable trophy. Alcaraz wished for more in Miami, claiming his first title at this event in 2022 and setting his eyes on a "Sunshine Double."

Carlos Alcaraz, Barcelona Open 2023© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos made a convincing start, dropping 15 games in the opening six sets and sailing into the quarter-final.

Alcaraz faced Grigor Dimitrov in a battle for a place in the semi-final and suffered a heavy 6-2, 6-4 defeat in an hour and a half. Sinner defeated Dimitrov in the final, notching 1000 ATP points and sending Carlos away from the top-2 for the first time since September 2022.

The Spaniard could not match the Bulgarian's pace, spraying too many errors and struggling behind the initial shot. Grigor stole almost half of the return points and secured four breaks that carried him over the top. Dimitrov played aggressive tennis and tamed his strokes nicely, saving four out of five break points and mounting the pressure on the other side.

Grigor seized a break in the second game and saved a break point in the next one for an early 3-0 advantage. Carlos served to stay in the set at 2-5 and faced more issues, with Grigor landing a backhand winner to wrap up the opener in style.

Not stopping there, the Bulgarian fired a forehand return winner in the fourth game, securing a break and cementing it with a comfortable hold in the next one. The Spaniard raised his level after that, saving a break point in game six and securing his only break in the next one, reducing the deficit to 4-3.

Jannik Sinner & Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Dimitrov held at 4-4 and made the ultimate push on the return in the next one. Grigor created two match points with a forehand down the line winner and converted the first after Carlos' forehand error, sending the young gun packing.

Alcaraz injured his right hand while training in Monte Carlo, skipping it and failing to recover in time for Barcelona. Carlos should be ready to play in Madrid, where he will try to defend another title.

Carlos Alcaraz Barcelona Open