Carlos Alcaraz says he is ‘feeling good’ after injury despite being soundly beaten by Casper Ruud at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.
Ruud, who Alcaraz beat to win the US Open final in September, beat Alcaraz 6-1, 6-4 in the third-place play-off on Sunday as he geared up for his own major breakthrough in 2023.
Alcaraz has had a superb year but it ended on a downer for him as he tore his abdomen at the Paris Masters. That forced him our of the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup as well.
However, he says he is now fully over that injury and ready to meet the challenge of keeping his spot at the top of the rankings next year.
"I feel good finally," the world number one said. "I had a month to recover well the ab and right now I feel almost 100 percent. I have been training normally this past week and I'm feeling great.
"Of course having a target on my back from everyone is going to be a little bit different for me this year and I have to be prepared for that.
"I'm going to try to finish 2023 at the same position as right now. It's going to be a long year but of course I'm going to enjoy."
Alcaraz will certainly have the opportunity of earning ranking points at the Australian Open next month, with him only managing to reach the third round there this season.
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