World number one Carlos Alcaraz has been ruled out of the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, after picking up an injury in training. The reigning US Open champion will not be able to take to the court in the first major since his victory at Flushing Meadows. On the other hand, 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will make a return to the Down Under after missing out last year.
Alcaraz became the youngest world number one in history after he won the US Open in 2022. The 19-year-old Spaniard enjoyed a successful 2022 season and capped it up with the triumph in the US. He has, however, injured his semimembranosus muscle, ruling him out for the unforeseeable future. This means that he will not get a chance to add to his sole Grand Slam crown and will miss the tournament in Melbourne. He was seeded as the 31st in the world last year in Australia and reached the third round before losing to Matteo Berrettini.
Alcaraz joins British tennis star Emma Raducanu in missing out on the Australian Open this year through injury after she was ruled out following an injury she picked up during the Adelaide Open, a preseason tournament in Australia.
Djokovic received clearance to enter into Australia, where he is currently partaking in the Adelaide Open. The 35-year-old was denied entry into Australia last year due to his unvaccinated status, causing him to miss the Australian Open. The Serbian has won the Australian Open title a record nine times and will be out for a tenth crown this year. He will be looking to equal Rafael Nadal’s record haul of 22 Grand Slam titles.