Ruud unable to escape Alcaraz as Spanish teen wins US Open

SPANISH teenager Carlos Alcaraz has won his maiden Grand Slam title, defeating Norwegian fifth seed Casper Ruud in four sets in the US Open men’s singles final. Alcaraz was looking tired at different stages throughout the match coming off the back of some epic five-set contests, but the young gun just found a way to win, 6-4 2-6 7-6 6-3 in three hours and 20 minutes.

Coming into the Grand Slam final, the 19-year-old Alcaraz was playing in his first major final, while Ruud backed up his Roland Garros final with a place in the decider at Flushing Meadows. Third seed Alcaraz played in three consecutive five-set matches lasting more than 13 hours, having to overcome Marin Cilic, Jannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe to book his place in the Grand Slam final. By comparison, Ruud spent eight hours and 56 minutes in his last three matches.

Despite the extra time on court, Alcaraz got off to the perfect start, breaking in the third game of the match to go move two games clear and the Norwegian was unable to break back. Ruud would get his chance though, stepping up midway through the second set to win the last four games of the set to level the match with a 6-2 second set victory. The extra break in between sets renewed Alcaraz’s strengths, breaking in the opening game and moving to 2-0, but then Ruud broke back at the next chance of asking and brought it back on serve.

The set went the full distance, with an unbelievable 16-point game in the 12th game, as both players produced their best tennis. Ruud did have a set point at one stage, but the Spaniard held firm, then dominated the tiebreak with the last seven points to win it 7-1 and go two sets to one up. That followed onto the fourth set which saw Alcaraz break in the sixth game to move 4-2 up which ultimately won the Spaniard the match. Ruud held to love in the eighth game to go 3-5, but a terrific service game from Alcaraz that feature two aces and two winners sealed the match in just under three and a half hours, 6-2 2-6 7-6 6-3.

“This is something I tried to achieve, all the hard work I did with my team,” Alcaraz said. “I’m just 19 years old. All the tough decisions were with my parents and my team. This is something really special for me.”

In achieving the victory, Alcaraz became the youngest world number one since the ATP Rankings began in 1973, beating Ruud out for the title. The Norwegian will assume the world number two position. With Ruud only 23 years-old himself, the pair are the second youngest top two in history themselves.

“It’s something that I dreamed of since I was a kid. To be No. 1 in the world, to be the champion of a Grand Slam is something that I worked really, really hard [for],” Alcaraz said post-match. “It’s tough to talk right now, a lot of emotions.”


[3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [5] Casper Ruud (NOR) 6-4 2-6 7-6 6-3

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