Playing his first ATP Tour match in more than three months, World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz made a winning return to competition at the Argentina Open. beating Laslo Diere in a Round of 16 match.
The first former World No. 1 to compete in Buenos Aires since Gustavo Kuerten in 2004, the Spaniard lived up to lofty expectations with a powerful performance at the ATP 250 on Wednesday night.
Returning from recent abdominal and hamstring injuries, Alcaraz earned a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory in two hours against Laslo Djere. He was at his best early and late as he moved through the gears, treating the expectant crowd to the full range of magic that helped him claim the 2022 year-end No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“It’s a great feeling to win again,” Alcaraz said post-match. “It’s been a long time for me with no competition, with no matches, just recovering. Finally, I got my first win of 2023,” Alcaraz was quoted as saying in a report by ATP Tour on its website.
Meanwhile, in another Round of 16 match, second-seed Cameron Norrie recovered from a set down to beat local favourite Facundo Diaz Acosta.
The British world No. 11 looked lethargic early, losing the first set 6-4, before finding his rhythm to take the last two sets 7-5, 7-6 (6) on the outdoor clay of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, reports Xinhua.
Norrie, the second seed here, will meet another Argentine, Tomas Etcheverry, in the quarterfinals on Friday. The latter advanced by overcoming Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 earlier on Wednesday.
Serb Dusan Lajovic also reached the last eight courtesy of a 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Argentina’s Camilo Carabelli.