Carlos Alcaraz made a remarkable comeback from injury to beat Cameron Norris 6-3 7-5 on Sunday to win the Argentina Open.
Until last week, last year’s US Open champion had been out for more than three months recovering from hamstring and abdominal injuries.
But the 19-year-old, ranked second in the world behind Novak Djokovic, returned to competitive tennis in Buenos Aires, dropping just one set during the tournament.
Against Great Britain’s Norrie, Alcaraz took control of the contest by winning seven games in a row between the end of the first set and the beginning of the second.
He was unable to take the match down 5-3 in the second set, but closed out the win three games later with a stunning forehand.
“It was a great week for me, a dream week after a long time without competition. To come to Buenos Aires and perform at the level I did is amazing and really special. It’s also been an emotional week,” Alcaraz said, according to Reuters.
It was the Spaniard’s seventh ATP Tour title and first since winning the US Open in September – a victory that made him the youngest person to reach the world number one.
On Sunday, he became the youngest player to win the Argentina Open.
“I felt very comfortable in the final,” Alcaraz added.
“I knew it was going to be really hard. I started focusing on what I needed to do first – my game, my level. This is the level I need to play in the finals.”
On Tuesday, Alcaraz begins the defense of his title at the Rio Open – the first of five ATP Tour titles he will win in 2022 – as he tries to overtake Djokovic at the top of the rankings.