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21 May 2024

Tennis-Alcaraz hails dream return from injury after Buenos Aires triumph

By Reuters

Carlos Alcaraz enjoyed a dream return to action after more than three months out due to abdominal and hamstring injuries as the world number two claimed the Argentina Open title on Sunday by beating Cameron Norrie 6-3 7-5 in the final.

The top seed won the U.S. Open in September and became the youngest player to top the world rankings at 19 years old, but suffered an abdominal issue at the Paris Masters in November before pulling out of the Australian Open with a leg injury.

Having been leapfrogged by Melbourne winner Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz began his quest to regain the top spot with his debut appearance at Buenos Aires where he lost only one set in his four matches.

"It's been a great week for me, a dream week after a long time with no competition. Coming to Buenos Aires and showing the level I showed is amazing and really special. It has been an emotional week too," Alcaraz said.

The Spaniard's seventh ATP title and first since Flushing Meadows last year was never in doubt despite a minor blip in the second set against Norrie where he dropped his serve.

"I had the chance to win the match at 5-3 and he broke my serve easily," Alcaraz said.

"But I knew I had to be calm and try to wait for my moment and it came at 6-5. It was a great match."

Alcaraz, who moved to within 590 points of Djokovic in the rankings, said he was happy with his level.

"I felt very comfortable playing the final," Alcaraz said.

"I knew it was going to be really difficult. I started really focused on what I had to do at the beginning, my game, my level. This is the level that I have to play in finals."