If signing up for tennis events was a test in school, Alcaraz and Norrie would be probably accused of cheating. The two signed up for exactly the same events in February, as they started in Buenos Aires, moved to Rio de Janeiro, and are set to finish in Acapulco, before meeting in Indian Wells and Miami.
The first tournament where they met was the Argentina Open, and as the first and second-seeded players, they played for the title in the final, as Alcaraz emerged victorious in two sets, winning 6-3, 7-5.
At the 2023 Rio Open, the same situation happened as they were the two highest-seeded players. On the way to the final, both defeated some clay-court specialists and so their final meeting was once again very anticipated.
Already in the fifth game of the first set, Norrie was the first player with a chance to break his opponent. But the youngster held his serve and later on, he created five opportunities to break.
The Spaniard didn't use three in the eighth game, one in the tenth, before having another one in the twelfth game, which was also his second set point. This time, Alcaraz didn't miss and won the first set 7-5.
The second set was much more dramatic and turbulent. First, the former world no. 1 sprinted to a 3-0, 30-0 lead, but he couldn't keep his advantage. Norrie broke back and added one more break to lead for the first time in the second set, 4-3.
After being broken twice in a row, Alcaraz requested a doctor, who took care of his leg about which he talked also before the final match.
The Spaniard then managed to break back to level the score at 4-4, but Norrie broke again and served out the second set, to win it 6-4 and set the match into a decider.
Alcaraz started the third set with a strap on his thigh and broke Norrie's serve early to lead 2-0. However, Norrie then won seven consecutive points to break back, and the Spaniard ripped the strap as he maybe felt like it was limiting his movement.
The Brit continued his surge and broke once more to lead in the match for the first time. But Alcaraz wouldn't give up and once again, he broke back. A few games later, thanks to his signature forehand drop shot, the Spaniard led again despite using an unsuccessful underarm serve, this time 5-4.
Exceptional shot-making and a high level of the final match continued also in the following games, with Norrie gaining the advantage again and serving for the match at 6-5. This time, he managed to serve out the match and win it 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 42 minutes to win his first ATP title of the 2023 season.