“Playing here is very special” – Alcaraz confirms he will play Madrid

The two-time defending champion’s participation was in doubt after he withdrew from both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona with a right arm injury

Carlos Alcaraz, Madrid Open, 2024 Carlos Alcaraz, Madrid Open, 2024 Zuma / Panoramic

After missing Monte-Carlo and Barcelona due to an injury to his right forearm, the Spaniard will finally step on the European clay courts in 2024 at the Madrid Open, where he is the two-time defending champion. Despite still wearing protective strapping in training, he will take to the court in the Spanish capital.

“For me, it’s very important to be 100 per cent in this tournament”, he told a press conference at the pre-tournament media day.

“Playing here is very special. It’s a tournament where my family and friends can come and watch my matches, and for me it’s really special to play in front of my home crowd.”

Alcaraz then alluded to a potential meeting in the final with Rafael Nadal. The two Spaniards have faced each other in Madrid before. Once in 2021, when the then 17-year-old Alcaraz lost 6-2, 6-1.

“I’d like to play 100 per cent to give them the opportunity to enjoy my tennis and give me the chance to get a good result here. Obviously, it would be great to play a final against Rafa, but there is still a long way to go.”


Overtaken in the ATP rankings by his rival Jannik Sinner after Miami, the new world No 3 is particularly wary of the Italian in Madrid, despite beating him in the semi-finals in Indian Wells a few weeks ago.

“He’s dangerous. He’s the best player in the world right now. I think some people think his tennis is not suitable for clay, but he has also achieved results on this surface.

“He can win every tournament he plays, and obviously I’m fighting with him and Novak to be number one in the world. I’m trying to stay there, but honestly, it’s going to be difficult,” Alcaraz said.

In his first match since losing the quarter-final in Miami to Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Carlos Ferrero’s protégé will face Arthur Rinderknech, the world No 77, or Alexander Shevchenko, the world No 59, in his opening match in Madrid.

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