Carlos Alcaraz has made a winning return to the tour from injury, battling past Laslo Djere in front of a packed crowd in Buenos Aires on Wednesday night, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, in his first match in 104 days.

It was also his first career match in Argentina, and some of the all-time Argentinian tennis greats came out to watch—including Gabriela Sabatini, Guillermo Coria and Juan Monaco.

“I’m really happy,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “It was such a great crowd and atmosphere, so I can just say thank you to all the fans here in Buenos Aires for the warm welcome that I received in this first match. I hope to keep going with this energy.”

The Spanish teenager's last tour-level match came on November 4th, 2022, retiring against Holger Rune in the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 event in Paris due to an abdominal injury, which then forced him to withdraw from the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup Finals at the end of the year. He then had to delay his start to the 2023 season due to a right leg injury, pulling out of the Australian Open.

But he looked strong in his comeback match.

Djere kicked things off with a love hold, but Alcaraz caught fire from there, winning the next three games in a row for a 3-1 lead, and after Djere held to close the gap to 3-2, Alcaraz won another three games in a row to run away with the first set after 29 minutes.

Alcaraz, who's currently ranked No. 2, is the top seed in the Argentinian capital this week.

Alcaraz, who's currently ranked No. 2, is the top seed in the Argentinian capital this week.


There were break chances all over the place in the second set—Alcaraz had a total of eight break points across three Djere service games (2-2, 3-3 and 4-4) while Djere had seven break points in three Alcaraz service games (0-1, 3-4 and 4-5). But Djere was the only one who managed to convert with Alcaraz serving at 4-5, 15-40, lasering a backhand down the line winner to take the set.

But Alcaraz bounced right back with a break of his own in the first game of the decider, eventually got a second break for 5-2 and swiftly served it out, clinching the victory on a backhand half-volley from the baseline that morphed into an unreachable drop shot.

“It’s a great feeling to win again,” Alcaraz said. “It’s been a long time for me, no competition and no matches, just recovery.

“And finally I got my first win of 2023.”

Awaiting Alcaraz in the quarterfinals will be another player from Serbia, Dusan Lajovic. Alcaraz won the pair's only previous meeting in the second round of last year's Australian Open, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5.