Argentina Open draw: Carlos Alcaraz gets kind draw as he looks for first title since Wimbledon

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz Argentina Open celebrations
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain lifts the trophy after winning the Argentina Open

Carlos Alcaraz returns to action this week for the first time since his shock Australian Open exit and he will be pleased with his draw for the Argentina Open.

World No 2 Alcaraz has played only one tournament so far this year – the hard-court Grand Slam at Melbourne Park – and he was stunned by Alexander Zverev in four sets in the quarter-final.

After a three-week break, the Spaniard will return to clay-court action on Tuesday as he will headline the ATP 250 event in Buenos Aires.

The 20-year-old will also be boosted by the fact that his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has travelled with him to the Argentina capital. Former world No 1 Ferrero missed the trip to Australia as he was recovering from surgery.

Alcaraz, who has a bye into the second round alongside the other top three seeds, will open his title defence against either Juan Pablo Varillas from Peru or Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli.

He is projected to meet seventh seed Laslo Djere in the quarter-final, although Djere has former world No 3 Marin Cilic first up.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz needs to improve ‘one key area’ according to former British No 1

Should Alcaraz reach the semi-final, then he will most likely face third seed Nicolas Jarry, whose three ATP Tour titles to date have come on clay.

Six of Alcaraz’s 12 singles titles have also come on clay, but he is looking to end his title through as he hasn’t lifted a trophy since winning Wimbledon last July while his last final was at the Cincinnati Open in August.

The Chilean, though, has some tough encounters as he will face either Stan Wawrinka or Pedro Cachin while he is expected to face Tomas Etcheverry in the quarter-final.

Wawrinka is a former finalist in Argentina as he finished runner-up to David Ferrer in 2013.

Cameron Norrie, who was beaten in last year’s final by Alcaraz before he turned the Spaniard by winning the Rio Open the following week, is the highest-ranked player in the bottom half of the draw and he will open his account against either Sebastian Ofner or Federico Coria.

British No 1 Norrie, whose last title was in Brazil last year, is expected to face fifth seed Sebastian Beez in the quarter-final with fourth-seeded Argentine Francisco Cerúndolo – a runner-up at his home event in 2021 – or the eighth-seeded Arthur Fils, who is one of the rising stars of the game, the projected semi-final opponent.