Alcaraz makes winning clay return, reaches Argentina Open quarterfinal

Buenos Aires, Feb 16 (IANS) Carlos Alcaraz survived an inspired effort from Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli to record a straight-sets win in his Argentina Open opener and sailed into the quarterfinals.

Playing in his first match since his Australian Open quarterfinal exit, the Spaniard registered a 6-2, 7-5 victory after missing out on two match points in the second on Thursday night.

He will next meet qualifier Andrea Vavassori after the Italian’s 6-4, 7-5 upset of seventh seed Laslo Djere.

“It’s been a really tough match. He’s a really good fighter, a really good player, good rhythm. He was really tough to beat in the match, playing my game. I started really nervous, I’m not going to lie, with the crowd behind him, supporting him. I think it’s normal, obviously, but really happy with my first match on clay since Roland Garros. Hopefully, I can keep going better and better,” Alcaraz said post-match as quoted by ATP Tour.

The Spanish top seed is bidding to successfully defend a title for the third time in his career after retaining home crowns in Barcelona and at the ATP Masters 1000 last season.

Earlier at the ATP 250, Argentina’s Federico Coria knocked out second seed Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. By earning his fourth Top 20 win (and first since 2022), the home favourite advanced to his 12th tour-level quarterfinal.

Coria will next meet countryman Sebastian Baez after the fifth seed beat Cordoba champion Luciano Darderi 6-4, 7-5, ending the Italian’s six-match winning streak.



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