Carlos Alcaraz took just over an hour-and-a-half to beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-5 to win the Argentina Open; It is Alcaraz’s first title of 2023 after four months out with abdominal and leg injuries
Second seed Norrie, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, had been seeking a fifth ATP Tour singles title at the clay-court event in Buenos Aires.
But Alcaraz, returning after being sidelined since November with abdominal and leg injuries, proved too strong, the 19-year-old US Open champion triumphing 6-3, 7-5 in just over an hour-and-a-half to become the youngest Argentina Open champion.
The match went with serve up to 3-3 before world No 2 Alcaraz broke Norrie twice in succession to secure the opening set.
Norrie, 27, was also broken in his first service game of the second set en route to going 3-0 down, and although he subsequently broke back at 5-3 and drew things level, it was Alcaraz who then battled through and clinched the victory with a further break.
“I felt very comfortable playing the final,” said Alcaraz.
“I knew that it was going to be really difficult. I started really focussed on what I had to do at the beginning, my game, my level.
“This is the level that I have to play in a final. It is really special, I struggled in these four months.”
A right leg injury sidelined Alcaraz from the Australian Open, with Novak Djokovic reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Alcaraz after winning the title there.
The 19-year-old Alcaraz dropped only one set to Serbias Laslo Djere in his first tournament of the year.
Alcaraz next defends his title at the Rio Open.