While the clay season in ATP competition has started with this week's ATP 250 tournaments in Estoril, Houston and Marrakech, the first prestigious ATP 1000 Masters competition will be held in Monte Carlo next week. As for now, three of the big contenders has withdrawn from the tournament before the start because of the injury issues.
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz both announced on pulling out from Rolex Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. Apart from them, the world's number 7 - Felix Auger Aliassime, will also be absent. Alcaraz missed the Australian Open with a leg injury earlier in the year, losing his world's number one spot in the ATP rankings. He regained it by winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. When trying to achieve the victory in second Sunshine Double tournament in Miami, he lost in the semi-finals to the Italian Jannik Sinner, which again dropped him to the second place. As it occured, Alcaraz injured his left hand. He also struggles with back pain, which is why he will miss the Monte Carlo tournament.
"After two months abroad, I'm happy to be back home, but I'm sad because I ended my last game in Miami with physical discomfort. After consulting with my doctor, I learned that I won't be able to start my clay court season in Monte Carlo." - announced Alcaraz in her social media.
Rafael Nadal has also retired from the competition. Nadal has triumphed in Monte Carlo 11 times, winning the trophy last for the last time in 2018. This season, which started quite miserably for Nadal, is still tormented by the hip injury, which turned out to be serious during the Australian Open. In the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, he was eliminated in the second round. A long break in the game caused him to drop out of the top 10 of ATP Rankings for the first time in 912 weeks. He is currently placed as low as 14th.
"Unfortunately I'm still not ready to play and will miss one of those special tournaments I love to play. Monte Carlo has always been a pivotal event in my career but unfortunately I will have to miss once again as I'm not ready to compete without it yet risk of re-injury. I will continue the process of recovery and fitness." - wrote Nadal in his follow up for the fans.
Felix Auger Aliassime decided to pull of from the tournament in Monte Carlo due to the knee issue. "I have been struggling with my left knee for the past few weeks and decided it was the smartest decision to take some time off. I'm able to fully heal and recover before my next tournament at the Mutua Madrid Open." - reported the Canadian on his Twitter account.
Rolex Monte Carlo Masters main draw competition starts on next Monday. It will contain 56 players with the top 8 seeds getting byes for opening round. The qualies starts two days earlier, on Saturday.