Carlos Alcaraz marked his return to action for the first time in almost four months with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Cameron Norrie in the final of the Argentina Open on Sunday.

Former world No 1 Daniil Medvedev captured his 16th career title with a tough three-set victory over in-form Jannik Sinner in the Rotterdam ATP final.

And later seventh-ranked Taylor Fritz defeated Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 to win the ATP Delray Beach Open, ensuring the American a future world top-five spot.

It was a seventh career title for the 19-year-old Alcaraz and first since winning the US Open in September before he went on to become the youngest ever world No 1.

“I felt very comfortable playing the final,” Alcaraz said.

“I knew that it was going to be really difficult. I started really focussed on what I had to do at the beginning, my game, my level. This is the level that I have to play in finals.”

A leg muscle tear at the Paris Masters in November meant Alcaraz missed the start of this season, including the Australian Open won by Novak Djokovic. He also lost his top ranking to the Serb.

Alcaraz took his head-to-head record over the 12th-ranked Norrie to 4-1 thanks to his 93-minute victory on Sunday.

He turned an early 2-3 deficit into an impressive 6-3, 3-0 lead and he did not face a break point until he failed to serve out the match at 5-3 up.

Down 0-15 while serving at 5-5, the Spaniard unleashed a forehand volley to reassert himself.

The next game was the longest of the match as Alcaraz battled through two deuces before sealing victory with a drop shot as Alcaraz showed his mastery of clay courts had not been diminished by his long absence.

Of his seven titles, five have come on clay and he will get the chance to quickly add another as he heads to Rio next week to defend the trophy he won in 2022.

Alcaraz is the first Spanish player to win the title in Buenos Aires since Rafael Nadal in 2015 and he did it in some style, losing just one set in his four victories all week and that was in his first match back against Serbia’s Laslo Djere.

Sunday’s win also meant he was the first teenager to capture the title in the Argentine capital.

Alcaraz had a breakout 2022. As well as becoming the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990, he also defeated Djokovic and compatriot Nadal on back-to-back days on his way to the Madrid Masters crown.

He also claimed the Miami Masters and ATP 500-level trophies in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.

“It was a very good year. I achieved my dream, my goal, very quickly. I dealt with it as naturally as possible,” said Alcaraz on the eve of Buenos Aires.

“After becoming No 1 I had to set new goals, new things for the long term, to continue to enjoy myself, continue to improve, because I’m very young and I have a lot of things to improve.”

Medvedev wins 16th title

Medvedev triumphed 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 over his Italian opponent who had won the Montpellier tournament last weekend.

The 27-year-old Russian took his career head-to-head record against Sinner to 6-0 and will return to the world top 10 on Monday.

“I first came here in 2018 and I straightaway loved it,” said former US Open champion Medvedev.

“I love coming back here. The last two times I played here were terrible and I’m happy to make it better this year.”

On Sunday, Medvedev completed victory on the back of converting five of 12 break points and hitting just 17 unforced errors to Sinner’s 30.

Fritz set to break into top 5

Fritz, already at a world rankings career high, will jump into the top five on February 27, becoming the first American in such a spot since former world No 1 Andy Roddick.

“This year was incredible after losing in the first and second rounds every single year I’ve been here,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with coming back and having this result.”

The 25-year-old Californian captured his fourth consecutive ATP final and improved to 5-5 overall in tour championship singles matches.

Fritz’s trophy run also includes last March at Indian Wells, last June for his second Eastbourne title and last October at the Japan Open.

Fritz dominated the opening set before Kecmanovic saved a match point and battled back to claim the second set, which Fritz commanded until the fourth-seeded Serb sent a backhand wide on match point to fall after just under two hours.

Fritz fired 43 winners with 10 aces and dropped only two points on his first serve.