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Carlos Alcaraz suffers blow after losing coach Ferrero before Australian Open

Carlos Alcaraz
has suffered a damaging loss ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2024 after losing his coach
 Juan Carlos Ferrero for the Australian Open.

Alcaraz is being put through his paces in a five-week pre-season program - which began on December 8 - to ensure he is in the best condition possible for the Melbourne tournament in January.

But he is going to have to finish his preparations without Ferrero, who will not be able to travel Down Under after it was confirmed he requires arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

MARCA understands that the former tennis player will be replaced by Samuel Lopez for the two-week event, as Ferrero will need crutches after the operation.

After a long period on crutches, his first tournament with the 20-year-old is expected to be at Indian Wells, the Masters 1000 event in the United States, which begins on March 6. Despite going under the knife, will not miss any of his player's training sessions.

Samuel Lopez will stand in for Ferrero

The two-time Major winner has been coached by Ferrero since 2019 when he began his professional career at the age of 16, and there is no question losing his trusted mentor will come as a blow.

But there is no question Alcaraz is in good hands with Lopez, who is the coach of fellow Spanish player Pablo Carreno Busta and an experienced trainer.

The Spaniard has already worked with Alcaraz, having joined the world number two for Queen's earlier this year, which ended with a title for the El Palmar native.

Alcaraz faces a big test

Three days before the start of beginning of the new year, Carlitos will face Rafael Nadal in an exhibition in Las Vegas broadcast on Netflix.

Alcaraz will travel with his agent Alberto Molina to the exhibition on December 27 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and then Lopez will accompany him as coach at the Australian Open.

Antonio Martinez Cascales will be with Alcaraz in the South American tour in February, with tournaments in Buenos Aires between February 12-18 and Rio de Janeiro from February 19-25.

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