Carlos Alcaraz expressed deep gratitude and relief at reaching the final of his first tournament in more than three months at the ongoing 2023 Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. The Spaniard also exuded confidence ahead of Sunday’s final against Cameron Norrie, where he will aim to win his 7th ATP singles title.

Before the Argentina Open, Alcaraz last played back in early November, where he was forced to retire midway through his 2022 Paris Masters quarterfinal against Holger Rune with an abdominal injury. While the 19-year-old recovered from an abdominal tear ahead of the 2023 season, he was then forced to miss the 2023 Australian Open due to a leg injury.

Finally back on tour, the world No. 2 has dropped just one set en route to the final in Buenos Aires. Reflecting on his layoff that went on for over 100 days, Alcaraz said that reaching a final meant the world to him. At the same time, he set his sights on the title, showing his hunger for more success going into the final.

“After over 100 days without playing, getting back to a final means EVERYTHING. Let’s go for more tomorrow!” Carlos Alcaraz wrote on Instagram after winning his semi-final.

The former world No. 1 beat compatriot Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-2, 6-2 in Friday’s semi-final contest. Earlier, Alcaraz beat Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals and another Serbian Laslo Djere 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the Round of 16, in what was his first match on the comeback trail.

“Really special moment for me” – Carlos Alcaraz on tasting immediate success after challenging injury layoff

Carlos Alcaraz further highlighted the importance of reaching the final of the 2023 Argentina Open, admitting that he felt low on confidence and belief during his time away from the tour. In that period, the Spaniard missed not just the Australian Open, but also the United Cup and the 2022 ATP Finals, which would have been his maiden appearance in the year-end finals.

“It’s a really special moment for me,” Alcaraz said after the semi-final, as per ATP.

“I was a little bit down after the injury, so I had to recover in those four months the confidence and the rhythm. Coming back for my first tournament of 2023 and making the final is so special for me.”

Alcaraz and Norrie have faced each other four times on tour so far, with Alcaraz holding a 3-1 lead in their head-to-head record. While Norrie won their latest clash at the 2022 Cincinnati Open, Alcaraz won their only match on clay, which came earlier last season en route to the Spaniard’s maiden Madrid Open title.