Novak Djokovic’s chances on the clay are under threat as Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal look to return after pulling out of the Monte Carlo Masters. It leaves the world No 1 as the clear favourite for next week’s event. But it won’t be long until Djokovic’s rivals are back to threaten his title hopes following their latest injury updates.
Nadal and Alcaraz both announced they were pulling out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday, as they were part of an exodus of top players withdrawing through injury. The 36-year-old’s decision came as no surprise given he has not played since January and maintained that his comeback date was uncertain.
But the world No 2 surprised fans when he revealed that he had post-traumatic arthritis in his left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine, and withdrew on doctor’s orders. However, it appears Alcaraz won’t be sidelined for too long as the teenager is expected to be ready to go in Barcelona the week after.
The eight-time title winner has been spotted training intensely in his home of Murcia without any bandages, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that it suggests Alcaraz will have “no problems facing the following stops on his way to Roland Garros with maximum guarantees.”