That initial leg injury kept him off court for four months, meaning he missed the opening Grand Slam of the year in Australia and surrendered his No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic.
Near the end of the second set, Alcaraz required the trainer and strapping on his right leg. It clearly hampered the young Spaniard for the rest of the match, and Alcaraz did extremely well to make the final a competitive one as he relied on first-strike power to stay in the match.
Norrie remained composed after falling a set and a break behind, however, playing some fine tennis of his own to take the match and the title in three gripping sets.
Norrie lifts his fifth ATP title, having already reached three finals this year. However, it means that Alcaraz has failed to defend the title he won last year, which kicked off a superb run of form.
Alcaraz can take huge confidence from his performances over the past fortnight, but the same injury that side-lined him for so long flaring up after just two weeks back will be of real concern for the Spaniard and his team.
"The schedule is very demanding. I have been playing at the highest level for 15 days, without stopping for any day. In the end, playing games like today (Sunday), discomfort arises and you notice things. I felt pain in the same muscle where I had the injury last month. It’s hard."
"I have tried to play at my best level despite that setback. I tried to be more aggressive and finish the points faster, but against an opponent like Norrie, who is very tough, it’s difficult to win. Taking so many risks, you end up making a lot of mistakes.”