World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz is back in action for the first time since November. Carlos entered the Buenos Aires draw as the top seed and beat Laslo Djere 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours in the second round. Alcaraz faced a tricky rival in his first match in over four months, losing the second set but starting all over in the decider to advance into the last eight.
The Spaniard produced better numbers behind the first and second serve and fended off six out of seven break points. Djere grabbed the second set thanks to that lone break, but it was not enough to keep him in contention after losing ground in sets one and three.
Carlos broke him twice in each to control the pace and move into the last eight. The Serb hit a double fault in the encounter's third game to push the Spaniard 2-1 in front. Alcaraz fired a service winner in the fourth game to bring it home and 15 and confirm an early advantage.
Carlos Alcaraz won his first match after over four months in Buenos Aires.
Laslo took a pill after the fifth game, feeling the pain in his stomach. Carlos held at love for 4-2 with a forehand winner and earned his second break a few minutes later when Laslo sent a forehand wide.
World no. 2 wrapped up the opening set with a service winner in game eight, hoping for more in set number two. The Serb worked hard in the second set, erasing eight break points in three consecutive games and producing a late break to steal it and improve his chances.
Alcaraz survived two break points in game two and pushed hard on the return from 2-2. Djere gave his everything in games five, seven and nine, erasing one break point after another and opening a 5-4 gap. Carlos lost his focus after wasting those opportunities.
He got broken at 15 after Laslo's backhand down the line winner to hand the set to his opponent and start all over in the decider. The Spaniard delivered four comfortable holds in the final set, and the Serb could not follow that pace.
Djere netted a routine forehand in the first game to fall behind, and Alcaraz fired a forehand down the line winner in the next one for 2-0. The Spaniard grabbed the fourth game after deuce to remain in front and landed an ace in game six for 4-2.
Laslo netted a forehand in the seventh game to lose serve and allow Carlos to serve for the victory. World no. 2 held at 15 with a half-volley winner from the baseline in game eight to seal the deal and make a winning return.
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