Carlos Alcaraz's Mental Game: Forearm Injury Gathers Roland Garros Concerns

Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Rome Masters due to a forearm injury

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz's Mental Game: Forearm Injury Gathers Roland Garros Concerns
© Stream screenshot

World no. 3 Carlos Alcaraz will not compete at the upcoming Rome Masters. Carlos has been dealing with a right forearm injury for weeks, skipping Monte Carlo and Barcelona and losing in the Madrid Masters quarter-final. Alcaraz revealed muscle edema in the pronator teres.

He hopes to recover in the upcoming weeks and return to 100% ahead of the second Major of the season in Paris. Despite the pain, the young gun felt well about his level in Madrid, standing a set away from reaching the semi-final.

However, he could only partially focus on his game, always thinking about his forearm while hitting a forehand and spraying uncharacteristic mistakes. The two-time defending champion made a convincing start at Caja Magica, dropping nine games in four sets against Alexander Shevchenko and Thiago Seyboth Wild, sailing into the last 16.

The home favorite faced the first test against Jan-Lennard Struff, mirroring last year's title clash.

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

Alcaraz prevailed 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 after two hours and 52 minutes, squandering the advantage in the decider but moving over the finish line and reaching the last eight.

The German trailed 5-2 in the decider and faced four match points in game nine. He defended them, erased the deficit and had a chance to emerge at the top after creating a break chance in game 11. Despite many errors, Alcaraz stayed composed, reached a tie break and rattled off the final four points.

Struff landed 29 service winners and rushed to the net. On the other hand, Carlos tamed his strokes nicely, adding 39 winners and 33 unforced errors and forging the advantage in the mid-range rallies. The Spaniard endured early break points and deuces behind the initial shot in the opening set and clinched it with a break in game six.

Struff overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second set, returning to the positive side and staying in touch until the tie break following reliable service games on each side.

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

Carlos Alcaraz has struggled with a forearm injury.

The German delivered three mini-breaks, claiming the breaker 7-5 and forcing a decider. Carlos stepped in at the beginning of the final set, producing three fine holds and earning a break in game four. The Spaniard saved a break point at 4-2, moving closer to the finish line.

Instead of getting there, Alcaraz wasted four match points on serve in the ninth game and lost serve following many uncharacteristic mistakes. Jan-Lennard returned to the positive side and had a chance to seal the deal, constructing a break point at 5-5.

Carlos denied it and reached a tie break. Struff came from 0-3 to 4-3 before Alcaraz grabbed the last four points, prevailing and moving over the top. After 14 consecutive wins at Caja Magica, Alcaraz suffered a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Andrey Rublev in an hour and 59 minutes.

Carlos had the upper hand in the opening set before losing ground, suffering his first Caja Magica loss since 2021. The Russian hit 30 winners and 21 unforced errors, firing up his forehand and controlling the pace of his strokes.

Andrey had the upper hand from the baseline and played well at the net, winning 15 points more than Carlos and emerging as a deserved winner.

Carlos Alcaraz, Madrid 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rublev made the difference with his first serve.

He struggled behind the second but stayed composed, defending seven out of eight break points and forcing Alcaraz to follow that pace. The Spaniard lost 37% of the points in his games, facing 13 break points and suffering three breaks, enough to propel his rival over the top.

Andrey made a better start, but Carlos grabbed the first break in game five, moving 3-2 in front and producing a fine hold in the next one. Rublev defended two set points on serve in game nine before Alcaraz wrapped up the opener with a service winner in the next one, moving 6-4 in front after 41 minutes.

Andrey seized the fifth break opportunity in the second game of the second set and denied a break point in the next one for a 3-0 advantage. The Spaniard saved three break points in the sixth game and earned a chance to pull the break back in the next one after generating two break points.

Carlos Alcaraz & Andrey Rublev, Madrid 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rublev erased them with powerful serves and closed the game for 5-2. The Russian clinched the set with an unreturned serve at 5-3, forcing a decider after an hour and 24 minutes.

Andrey grabbed a break in the first game and saved two break points in the next one, playing better in the decisive moments and moving closer to the finish line. Rublev served well in the fourth game and clinched another break a few minutes later for a massive 4-1 advantage.

The Russian served for the win in game eight and sealed the deal with service winners, securing a place in his eighth Masters 1000 semi-final and sending the home favorite packing. "During my Madrid campaign, I always wondered whether I felt something strange in my arm whenever I hit a forehand.

I have to work hard in the upcoming days and get those things out of my head. I'm leaving Madrid with positive feelings, but I have to improve my physical shape and the mental aspect," Carlos Alcaraz said.

Carlos Alcaraz Roland Garros Rome Masters