Alcaraz, Osaka to skip Rome Masters due to injuries

Newly-crowned Madrid Open champion Carlos Alcaraz said on Sunday he has decided to skip the Rome Masters in a bid to recover from an ankle injury ahead of the French Open later this month.

Carlos Alcaraz in action.   -  Reuters

Fresh off his victory at the Madrid Open, Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Italian Open on Monday because of a right ankle injury.

Later, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the women's tournament with a left Achilles heel injury.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back-to-back in Madrid then defeated Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final for his tour-leading fourth title of the year.

Alcaraz hurt his ankle during the quarterfinal win over Nadal.

Rome organizers said Alcaraz’s place in the Rome draw would be taken by Finnish player Emil Ruusuvuori, who will open against Cristian Garin in the second round. Alcaraz, who was seeded seventh at the Foro Italico, had a first-round bye.

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Alcaraz will be chasing his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

Osaka injured herself in her first-round win over Anastasia Potapova at the Madrid Open 10 days ago and she said she “hasn’t healed yet.”

“I need to be careful, especially in advance of Roland Garros,” Osaka said.

Osaka was slated to open against Sara Sorribes Tormo, the Spaniard she lost to in the second round in Madrid.

Osaka will be replaced in the draw by Nuria Parrizas Diaz.

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