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Carlos Alcaraz Captures Argentina Open Title After Four Months Of Injury Sport-rated




Carlos Alcaraz marked his return to action for the first time in nearly four months with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Cameron Norrie in the final of the Argentina Open on Sunday. It was the seventh career title for the 19-year-old Spaniard and his first since he won the US Open in September before becoming the youngest world number one. “I felt very comfortable playing the final,” Alcaraz said. “I knew it was going to be very difficult. I started very focused on what I had to do at the beginning, my game, my level. This is the level I have to play in the finals.”

A torn leg muscle at the Paris Masters in November meant Alcaraz missed the start of this season, including the Australian Open won by Novak Djokovic. He also lost his highest ranking to the Serb.

World number two Alcaraz raised his head-to-head record over 12th-ranked Norrie to 4-1 thanks to his 93-minute victory on Sunday.

He turned an early 2-3 deficit into an impressive 6-3, 3-0 lead and didn’t face a break point until failing to pull out the match at 5-3 up.

Down 0-15 while serving at 5-5, the Spaniard unleashed a forehand volley to assert himself.

The following game was the longest of the match, as Alcaraz battled off two deuces before sealing the victory with a drop shot, as Alcaraz showed that his mastery of the clay courts had not been diminished by his long absence.

Of his seven titles, five have come on clay and he will have the chance to add another quickly when he heads to Rio next week to defend the trophy he won in 2022.

Alcaraz is the first Spanish player to win the title in Buenos Aires since Rafael Nadal in 2015 and he did it in a certain style, dropping just one set in his four wins all week and that was in his opener against Serb Laslo Djere.

Sunday’s victory also meant he was the first teenager to capture the title in the Argentine capital.

Alcaraz found great success in 2022. In addition to becoming the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990, he also defeated Djokovic and compatriot Nadal on consecutive days en route to the Madrid Masters crown.

He also claimed Miami Masters and ATP 500 level trophies in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.

“It was a very good year. I achieved my dream, my goal, very quickly. I faced it as naturally as possible,” said Alcaraz on the eve of Buenos Aires.

“After becoming number one I had to set new goals, new long-term things, to keep enjoying, keep improving, because I’m very young and I have a lot of things to improve.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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