ATP Rio: Carlos Alcaraz retires due to ankle injury, loses more points

Carlos Alcaraz retired in the opening round in Rio, losing 300 ATP points

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP Rio: Carlos Alcaraz retires due to ankle injury, loses more points
© Buda Mendes / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz will not seek the ATP 500 title in Rio. Carlos retired after only two games against Brazil's Thiago Monteiro due to an ankle injury. Luckily, it's not serious, and we should expect a two-time Major champion in Indian Wells.

Alcaraz broke Monteiro in the opening game of the encounter but lost serve in game two, bringing the opponent back to 1-1. Feeling the pain, the Spaniard retired and ended his Rio campaign after ten minutes. Thus, Carlos dropped 300 ATP points and drifted over 1000 points away from world no.

1 Novak Djokovic. A year ago, Alcaraz fought for the title in Rio, leading 7-5, 3-0 versus Cameron Norrie before losing 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes.

Carlos Alcaraz, Rio 2024 © Buda Mendes / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Spaniard injured his left leg but battled until the end, losing the title in the closing stages of the decider.

Carlos tried to preserve energy and reduce his movement, going for all-or-nothing shots and almost reaching the deciding tie break. However, Cameron broke him in the 11th game and sealed the deal with a hold in the next one.

The Briton landed 26 service winners and controlled his strokes nicely, hitting the same number of winners and unforced errors. Carlos delivered five breaks from nine opportunities and got broken six times from 16 chances offered to his opponent.

A left-hander saved three break points in the eighth game of the opening set and denied a set point in game ten.

Carlos Alcaraz retired in the opening round in Rio.

Alcaraz pushed strong on the return for the third straight game at 6-5 and landed two winners to steal the rival's serve and wrap up the opener.

The Spaniard grabbed his second straight break in the second game of the second set, forging a massive 7-5, 3-0 advantage and sailing toward the title. Instead, Cameron held from 0-30 in the fourth game and pulled the break back in game five to improve his chances.

Carlos felt the pain in his leg, struggling with his movement and losing serve again in game seven. He pulled the break back in game eight before dropping serve for the third straight time, finding himself 5-4 down.

Carlos Alcaraz, Rio 2024 © Buda Mendes / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Norrie closed the set with an ace in game ten, leveling the overall score and becoming the favorite ahead of the decider.

The young gun kept fighting, breaking early in the final set and moving 2-0 in front. Cameron broke back in game three and delivered another return game at 2-2 to move in front. Carlos erased the deficit in game six, giving everything to stay in touch.

The Spaniard defended two break points in the ninth game despite barely moving, holding for a 5-4 lead and hoping for a late break. Instead, Norrie seized the fourth break point in the 11th game, moving 6-5 in front and landing an ace on his second match point in game 12, celebrating his first ATP 500 title.

Atp Rio Carlos Alcaraz
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