Carlos Alcaraz resumed his chance for the No. 1 ranking as the Spaniard played – and won – his first match in nearly a month, posting victory on the ATP clay of Buenos Aires.

The world No. 2 lost an Australian Open quarter-final to Alexander Zverev and has not ventured onto court since.

But the youngster was in his element on South American clay, defeating Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli 6-2, 7-5, taking three match point to close out victory.

Alcaraz was back on clay for the first time since the downsized Hopman Cup in Nice last July.

The Spaniard swept nine of the last 10 points on his way into the quarter-finals.after a bye.

“It was 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,” Alcaraz said.

“I started really nervous, I’m not going to lie, with the crowd behind him, supporting him.

“That’s normal, but I’m really happy with my first match on clay (for 2024). Hopefully (I can) keep going better and better.”

Alcaraz is defending the title and hopes to duplicate his repeat past successes in Barcelona and Madrid.

He next faces Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori.

Second seeded Brit and 2023 finalist Cam Norrie went down to local Federico Coria 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Main photo:- Carlos Alcaraz wins opening match by