2023 In Review: Carlos Alcaraz Returns - Buenos Aires Delight

Carlos Alcaraz kicked off the season in Buenos Aires, winning the title

by Jovica Ilic
2023 In Review: Carlos Alcaraz Returns - Buenos Aires Delight
© Marcelo Endelli / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Instead of January, Carlos Alcaraz kicked off the 2023 season in Buenos Aires on clay in February. Alcaraz recovered from a leg injury that sidelined him from Melbourne, claiming his seventh ATP title in Argentina following a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over Cameron Norrie.

A teenager claimed his first ATP title since last year's US Open, losing one set in four duels and lifting the trophy. Alcaraz played well behind the second serve, losing serve once and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Norrie could not follow that level, dropping serve four times and finishing runner-up despite a notable comeback in set number two. Carlos could have sealed the deal earlier, controlling the pace and forging a 6-3, 5-2 advantage.

A teenager lost the ground a bit before emerging at the top with a late break, avoiding a tie break and a possible decider.

Carlos Alcaraz lifted his seventh ATP trophy in Buenos Aires in February.

The servers found the rhythm early on, offering the returners no chances and locking the result at 3-3 after 24 minutes following Carlos' hold at love.

A left-hander hit a double fault in the seventh game, offering his opponent two break chances. Alcaraz defended nicely on the second and fired a powerful forehand that secured a break and sent him in front. World no. 2 grabbed the eighth game with a crafty drop shot, cementing the advantage and moving 5-3 in front.

Carlos returned in game nine and landed a forehand winner for two set points. Cameron netted a backhand on the second, dropping serve for the second straight time and giving the opener to world no. 2. Alcaraz held with a service winner in the second set's first game and broke for the third time in a row a few minutes later for a commanding advantage.

Norrie prolonged the third game with a forehand winner before Alcaraz responded with a backhand down the line winner that pushed him 3-0 up and closer to the finish line. The Spaniard held at love in game five with a booming serve, looking good to seal the deal from there.

Carlos produced another fine hold in game seven, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match. Norrie held at love in game eight, reducing the deficit and prolonging his chances. Serving well so far, Alcaraz lost the ground a bit in game nine, missing an opportunity to emerge at the top and handing the break to Norrie after a costly double fault.

The Briton painted a powerful serve in the tenth game, leveling the score at 5-5 and making a complete comeback. Cameron served to stay in the match for the second time at 5-6 and cracked under pressure. He missed a backhand on a game point and squandered the second after Alcaraz's slick winner at the net.

Carlos earned a match point and seized it with a crafty drop shot, celebrating his winning return and the first ATP crown since September last year.

Carlos Alcaraz