Alcaraz to return to No. 1 after retaining Madrid title

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Carlos Alcaraz of Spain kisses the champion trophy during the awarding ceremony for the men's singles final of the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, May 7, 2023. (Xinhua/Meng Dingbo)

Carlos Alcaraz won the Madrid Open men's title by defeating German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in Sunday's final.

The win means Alcaraz will return to No. 1 in the world rankings if he participates in the Rome Masters this week, but he had to work hard against a player significantly lower in the rankings who had enjoyed a fairytale tournament.

Struff had already made history by reaching the final in Madrid, becoming the first 'lucky loser' from qualifying to reach a Masters final.

Alcaraz started off by breaking Struff's serve, but the German refused to be intimidated and battled hard to try and draw level. He had his chance in the last game of the set, racing to 40-0, before Alcaraz fought back to win the game and the set.

Struff did win the second set to momentarily silence a heavily partisan crowd, but began to tire in the third, allowing Alcaraz to claim a decisive break in the fourth game.

"I have enjoyed parts of this; it is something you have to experience," said Alcaraz after the match.

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