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Buenos Aires, Feb 20 – World no 2 Carlos Alcaraz, went more than three months without a competitive match due to abdominal and hamstring injuries, clinched the Argentina Open trophy on his season debut.
In his tournament debut, the Spaniard brushed aside Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday to claim his seventh ATP Tour title and his first since last year’s US Open.
“I felt very comfortable playing the final,” Alcaraz said in post-match presser. “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 finals.”
Moreover, the 19-year-old became the first Spaniard to win the Buenos Aires trophy since Rafael Nadal in 2015 and tied Gustavo Kuerten as the highest-ranked winner in tournament history at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, according to ATP Tour.
Alcaraz started the year as the youngest ever world No. 1, but a hamstring injury forced him to miss the Australian Open, as a result he lost the top spot to Serbian great Novak Djokovic. With Sunday’s win the Spaniard moved within 590 points of No. 1 in the ATP Live Rankings.
The beginning of the first set was an even affair but at 3-3, Alcaraz started to pull away, getting out of second gear, and dominating his opponent with his racquet speed. Norrie was unable to cope and the Spaniard took the first set 6-3.
Alcaraz continued his dominance in the second set, gaining a 3-0 lead on Norrie. The Brit, however, managed to claw his way back to 5-5 after Alcaraz missed the opportunity to win the match with a long serve. But the Spaniard did not lose his cool and secured the final set 7-5 to clinch the title.