The Spaniard isn't sure what he's dealing with in terms of his abdominal injury, but he hopes to put it behind him by next week.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, November 4, 2022

After a season full of milestones and breakthroughs, complete with a maiden major title, two Masters 1000 titles and 57 wins from 70 ATP matches, Carlos Alcaraz is finally beginning to show some wear and tear.

Tennis Express

The World No.1 entered the Paris Masters with a slight issue with his left knee, deemed very minor, and ended with a larger issue in his abdominal region which forced his retirement during the second set tiebreak of his match with Holger Rune on Friday.

Now, with only the ATP Finals left to play (kick off is November 13) Alcaraz is forced to contemplate the next steps.

He told reporters after his loss on Friday that he felt it was best to pull the plug on his highly anticipated quarterfinal with fellow teenager Rune.

“Is something wrong on the abdominal,” Alcaraz said. “At the end of the set, it was wrong. It was getting wrong, and I preferred to retire and see it, and take care about it.”

Alcaraz is still hopeful that he’ll be able to make a full recovery ahead of the ATP Finals, but first he’ll undergo tests to the region.

“I have the Nitto Finals. Right now I have some tests on how it's gonna be before Turin, but right now I'm focused on trying to get better in the abdominal and trying to be at 100 percent in Turin,” he said.

Alcaraz, who appeared to suffer the injury in the 11th game of the second set, took a medical timeout during the changeover at 6-5, swallowed some pills and received treatment. He later explained the pain was hampering most of his strokes.

“I cannot stretch,” he said. “I mean, I couldn't serve well. I couldn't hit the forehand well. When I turn the body, I feel it. So I feel the abdominal in so many movements. Yeah, I was thinking about it. And, yeah, playing like that with some problems and some things in my mind, it's better to retire.”

The Spaniard, who still is the frontrunner when it comes to locking up the ATP’s year-end No.1 ranking, says he has experienced problems in the abdominal area before, but he’s not sure if the previous issues are the same as what he has suffered today.

“It is in a zone that I have problems before,” he said. “As I said, I'm gonna do some tests in the abdominal and let's see if it's the same problem as I felt before or no.”

Alcaraz still leads Rafael Nadal by 1,000 points in the Race, which means that Nadal would likely have to reach the final or win the title in Turin to overtake his compatriot. Stefanos Tsitsipas is still mathematically in the hunt, but he’d need to reach at least the semifinals in Paris to have any chance – he would close to within 1470 points if he can win today in Paris (against Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals).