US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz said on Friday he will miss the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, after sustaining an injury to his right leg in training.
“I suffered an injury due to an accidental, unnatural movement during training,” the 19-year-old Spaniard wrote on his Twitter account.
“I have worked so hard to reach my best level for Australia, but unfortunately I will not be able to play,” the world’s best player added.
“It’s tough, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look ahead. We’ll see you at the Australian Open in 2024.”
Alcaraz’s withdrawal means defending champion and 22-time main winner Rafael Nadal will be promoted to top seed at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on January 16.
Novak Djokovic, the nine-time champion and a 21-time Grand Slam title winner, will move into the top four placings.
That means he won’t be able to face long-time rival Nadal in the semi-finals at the earliest.
Alcaraz became the world’s youngest world number one since the ATP rankings were established in 1973 by winning his first Grand Slam tournament at the US Open last September.
He then became the youngest player in history to finish the year at the top of the world rankings.
However, an abdominal tear forced him to retire in the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters in November, which in turn forced him to miss the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin won by Djokovic.
Alcaraz also had to sit out the Davis Cup final.
Djokovic is returning to the Australian Open after being expelled from the country last year for refusing to be vaccinated.
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