Alcaraz completes perfect return from injury with win over Norrie for Argentina Open title

After 104 days away, the 19-year-old romped to his seventh ATP Tour title

Carlos Alcaraz, Buenos Aires 2023 Carlos Alcaraz, Buenos Aires 2023 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Carlos Alcaraz was never going to take too long to get back to winning ways and so it proved in Buenos Aires on Sunday as the world No 2 beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-5 to win the Argentina Open title.

The Spaniard was broken when serving for the match but regained his composure, finishing the match with a brilliant drop shot as he claimed his seventh ATP Tour title.

“It’s really special,” said Alcaraz, who becomes the youngest winner of the title. “I struggled for these four months. To come here for my first tournament after four months (and win), it’s really special.”

In his first match of the year, after more than 100 days out because of injury, Alcaraz showed he’s lost absolutely none of his confidence, easing through the tournament and then, in the final, hitting something close to his best.

Norrie, one of the most dogged competitors on the Tour, fought hard and played well but he was second best throughout against the US Open champion, who will close the gap on Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings when they’re updated on Monday.

Norrie starts fast but Alcaraz too good

Clay was always going to give Alcaraz an advantage over Norrie but the Briton started well, matching the Spaniard in the early stages.

But from the moment that Alcaraz broke for 4-3 there only ever looked like being one winner. The Spaniard’s intensity kept Norrie on the back foot throughout and he never really stood a chance.

Alcaraz took the first set and led 3-0 in the second as he asserted his authority but Norrie stuck to his guns and when Alcaraz served for the match at 5-3, he found himself 15-40. He saved one but then double-faulted to give Norrie hope.

But Alcaraz regained his composure quickly and he broke the Norrie serve again with a brilliant drop shot winner to seal victory.

“I’ve lost a few finals recently,” said Norrie, who falls to 4-9 in ATP Tour finals. “But I’ll keep trying and I’ll be back.”

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