World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Australian Open on Friday, citing a leg injury he suffered in training. Last year, the 19-year-old from Spain became the youngest player to ever finish a season ranked No. 1 in the world since the introduction of the computerized men’s tennis rankings.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Alcaraz shared that he injured the hamstring in his right leg as the result of an unnatural movement while training. It marks Alcaraz’s second injury in the past several months since winning the US Open, as he previously tore an abdominal muscle while competing in the Paris Masters.
“I’d worked so hard to get to my best level for Australia but unfortunately I won’t be able to play the Care A2+ Kooyong or the Australian Open,” Alcaraz wrote. “It’s tough, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look forward.”
Alcaraz had a remarkable 2022, as he vaulted from the No. 32-ranked player in the world all the way to No. 1 after posting a record of 57-13 with five singles titles, including the US Open. Alcaraz’s rise through the ATP rankings marked the largest ever single-season jump to No. 1 overall.
With Alcaraz’s withdrawal from the Australian Open, fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal will assume the top of the ATP rankings. At the end of 2022, Alcaraz and Nadal had become the first players from the same country to finish in the top two rankings spots at the end of a season since Pete Sampras and Michael Chang did so for the United States in 1996.