Carlos Alcaraz from Spain defeated Casper Ruud in a four-set thriller to clinch his maiden Grand Slam. He beat his Norwegian opponent 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to capture the US Open – and a grand slam title – for the first time in his young career.
At just 19 years and four months, the Spaniard is the first teenage No 1 the men’s game has ever had, more than a year younger than the previous record holder, Lleyton Hewitt.
The Spaniard started the titular clash on a high and took the first set 6-4 but Casper Ruud made a good comeback and registered a one-side 6-2 win in the second set. The third set of the US Open men’s singles final went to the tiebreaker with Carlos Alcaraz beating Casper Ruud to take a 2-1 set lead. Alcaraz won the third set 7-6 (7/1). In the fourth set, Alcaraz put up a further better show in terms of energy and composure. The teenager sealed the set 6-3 to take home his first Grand Slam.
It is worth noting that Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam winner since Rafael Nadal won the first of his 22 Grand Slam titles at the 2005 French Open. Meanwhile, the title win in New York also sees him become the youngest world number 1.
The ride began in 2021 in Australia, where Alcaraz on his first main draw Grand Slam match on a court in the hinterlands of Melbourne Park with just a few dozen fans in attendance. He was outside the top 100 of the rankings then. In Croatia, last summer, he won his first tour-level title, and in New York starting a month later he blasted and drop-shotted his way into the quarterfinals as part of a teenage wave that took over the U.S. Open.
“This is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” Alcaraz, not so far removed from youth, said during the trophy presentation, after he and Ruud acknowledged the solemnity of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in their moments of tennis heartbreak and triumph.