Spanish teen tennis star Carlos Alcaraz triumphed over the Brit Cameron Norrie on Sunday to win the 2023 Argentina open.
The world number 2 favorite, Alcaraz beat Norrie in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in a tense match that saw the pair neck and neck for the first six games. In the second set, Norrie managed a dazzling comeback from three games down, but Alcaraz pulled ahead.
In an energetic championship point, the Spaniard returned Norrie’s serve to keep the Brit running across the pitch, finally playing a drop shot so close to the net that Norrie couldn’t return it. Alcaraz stood with his arms up, his racket held triumphantly in the air, as the crowd cheered.
“It’s been a good week,” Alcaraz told a press conference after the tournament. “I started playing well, but I had room to improve. From the quarter finals onwards, it was like I hadn’t stopped competing. I was feeling really good in terms of tennis, physically and mentally. I’m taking away a lot of good stuff from this tournament.”
The 19-year-old became the world number 1 in September 2022 after winning the U.S. Open, holding the spot for 20 weeks. However, an injury had kept him off the court for over 100 days before the Buenos Aires competition.
Both players also thanked the Argentine audience. “The passion [Argentines] have for tennis and sport is great,” Alcaraz said. Norrie told reporters: “The crowd really helped me to keep giving the best of myself, it brought me good moments and things to keep improving.”
Norrie, 27, is the British number 1 in men’s singles and reached a career-high ranking of number 8 globally last September.
Formally known as the Association of Tennis Professionals Tournament of Buenos Aires, the Argentina Open is held in the capital every year at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in Palermo. It has been running since 1893, when it was known as the Río de la Plata Championship.