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NEW YORK—As his US Open title defense kicks into high gear, Carlos Alcaraz says he has been staying tuned to the mounting scandal unfolding in Spain in the wake of the national team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup victory.

In the moments following the final whistle of Spain’s 1-0 final over England, cameras captured Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), grabbing top goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso and kissing her on the lips—an action that she later said took place without her consent.

After his first-round victory in Queens over Dominik Koepfer via retirement, Alcaraz condemned Rubiales’ actions as he called for a swift resolution to the scandal that has divided the country and overshadowed a historic moment in Spanish sport.

“In my opinion, these are attitudes that people in high-ranking positions should not display,” Alcaraz said during the Spanish portion of his press conference. “This is the only opinion that I am going to give on the matter."

"Let's hope it gets resolved soon, as the women's team has made a historic achievement and has not received much credit because of what happened," he added. "It's a shame. That is my only reflection."

With Spaniards taking to the streets of Madrid in protest and government officials calling for his resignation, the RFEF has doubled down on their support of its president and in turn has threatened legal action against Hermoso—Spain’s all-time top scorer—and other players calling for a boycott of the national team.

Rubiales issued a tepid apology, but denied Hermoso’s claim that the kiss took place without consent—triggering another massive wave of backlash. While he has refused to step down, Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA as an investigation is underway.


Alcaraz, who posted up a storm on social media in support of the women’s team during their dream run in Australia and New Zealand, said that the eyes of the world are on the Spanish FA and its response to the growing scandal.

“I have followed the matter,” Alcaraz confirmed. “Obviously it’s something that has given rise to a lot of talk. And much more so in Spain.

“We are here [in New York] so we don't know everything that has built up there in Spain, but the fact that the story has reached here tells you the magnitude of it.”

No. 1 seed Alcaraz will face Lloyd Harris on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the US Open second round on Thursday.