Rafael Nadal Laments Carlos Alcaraz's Absence: 'A Pity for Tennis Fans'

Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Barcelona Open

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal Laments Carlos Alcaraz's Absence: 'A Pity for Tennis Fans'
© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 3 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Barcelona Open, missing a chance to join his compatriot and idol Rafael Nadal in the draw. Carlos felt the pain in his right hand while preparing for the Monte Carlo Masters, revealing the pronator teres and skipping the third Masters 1000 event of the season.

The young gun failed to recover in time for Barcelona, missing one of his favorite events, where he was a two-time defending champion. Nadal felt sorry for Alcaraz, calling his withdrawal a significant loss for the youngster, the tournament and the fans.

Carlos will lose 500 ATP points and drop further behind Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner at the top of the ATP ranking list.

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

The young Spaniard should be ready to compete at the Madrid Masters, defending the title in front of the home fans.

Unlike Alcaraz, Nadal will try to play in Barcelona, facing Flavio Cobolli in his first match since the opening week of the season. Rafa is a 12-time Barcelona Open champion, with the central court carrying his name. Nadal last played in Barcelona in 2021 when he took down Stefanos Tsitsipas in that epic final.

Rafa overpowered Stefanos 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 after three hours and 37 minutes, making it the most extended best-of-three ATP final since the start of the ATP Tour in 1990! Nadal had to give everything to remain unbeaten in the Barcelona Open finals, defending 11 out of 13 break points and saving a match point in the tenth game of the final set.

Rafael Nadal shared his thoughts about Carlos Alcaraz's Barcelona Open withdrawal.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2021© Alex Caparros / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Stefanos missed it by little, allowing Rafa to survive.

The home star rattled off the last three games, sealing the deal with a late break and extending his incredible streak in the Barcelona Open finals to 12-0! Carlos Alcaraz took charge at the home event in 2022, becoming the youngest champion since Nadal in 2005 and defending the title a year ago.

Alcaraz took down five rivals in straight sets 12 months ago, celebrating his second Barcelona Open title. Carlos met Stefanos Tsitsipas in the title match and earned a 6-3, 6-4 win in an hour and 18 minutes, lifting the trophy in style.

The home favorite controlled the pace with 26 winners and seven unforced errors, losing ten points in ten service games and keeping the pressure on the other side. Stefanos grabbed one break, which was not enough to keep him safe.

The Greek could not keep his second serve safe, getting broken three times and propelling the Spaniard over the top. Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alex de Minaur are the top seeds in Barcelona this week.

Still, all eyes are set on Rafael Nadal and his long-awaited Tuesday match.

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

"It's a pity that Carlos must skip Barcelona. He claimed titles here in the previous two years, and an injury has prevented him from chasing another trophy. It's a shame for Carlos, the tournament and fans," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz Barcelona Open