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Carlos Alcaraz wins Argentina Open after three-month injury layoff

<i>Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images</i><br/>Alcaraz plays a backhand against Norrie in the Argentina Open final.
Getty Images
Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images
Alcaraz plays a backhand against Norrie in the Argentina Open final.

By George Ramsay, CNN

Carlos Alcaraz capped off a stunning return from injury as he defeated Cameron Norris 6-3 7-5 to win the Argentina Open on Sunday.

Prior to last week, last year’s US Open champion had been out of action for more than three months as he recovered from hamstring and abdominal injuries.

But the 19-year-old, ranked second in the world behind Novak Djokovic, made a seamless return to competitive tennis in Buenos Aires, dropping only one set during the course of the tournament.

Against Great Britain’s Norrie, Alcaraz took control of the contest by winning seven straight games between the end of the first set and start of the second.

He failed to serve out for the match at 5-3 in the second set but wrapped up the victory three games later with a brilliant forehand drop shot.

“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, according to Reuters.

It was the Spaniard’s seventh ATP Tour title and his first since winning the US Open in September — a victory that made him the youngest man ever to top the world rankings.

On Sunday, he became the youngest player to win the Argentina Open.

“I felt very comfortable playing the final,” Alcaraz added.

“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.”

On Tuesday, Alcaraz will begin his title defense at the Rio Open — the first of five ATP Tour titles he won in 2022 — as he bids to make up ground on Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

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