Tennis world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz to miss Australian Open due to leg injury

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts after missing a ball against Andrey Rublev of Russia, during a semi-final match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Carlos Alcaraz is out of the Australian Open. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will miss the first Grand Slam of the year due to a leg injury he sustained during training, he announced Friday.

The 19-year-old described the issue as being in the semimembranosus muscle, the middle hamstring, of his right thigh. He added he will also miss the CareA2+ Kooyong Classic next week in Melbourne.

Alcaraz reached the top of the tennis mountaintop last year, with his thrilling win at the US Open, the first Grand Slam victory in a career expected to bring many more. He notched two ATP 1000 Masters wins at the Miami Open and Madrid Open and two more wins at the Rio Open and Barcelona Open.

By the end of the season, Alcaraz was the youngest man to ever reach world No. 1 status, and the tennis world was understandably excited to see where he would go from there.

Injuries have been a problem for Alcaraz in the past, with the Spaniard missing the ATP Finals last year due to a muscle tear in his abdomen and the Italian Open due to an ankle injury.

The Australian Open will be played without the world No. 1 for the second straight year. Last year, Novak Djokovic was kicked out of the country over his refusal to get the COVID-10 vaccine and a dispute over his visa paperwork.

There will be no such issue this time, as Djokovic is already in Australia and preparing for the tournament.