Alcaraz beats Ruud in US Open final to win first grand slam at 19

New York City, US, Sep 11 (EFE).- Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday won his first grand slam of his career and becoming the youngest top-ranked men’s player in ATP history after winning the United States Open final against Norwegian Casper Ruud.

Alcaraz, 19, triumphed 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 in three hours and 20 minutes against Ruud, 23, in New York, where he is now the youngest champion since Pete Sampras in 1990.

“It is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid. To be number one in the world, to be champion of a grand slam, is something I have worked really, really hard [for],” he said after the game.

The Murcian put the icing on the cake of an extraordinary season and after winning the Masters 1,000 in Miami and Madrid and the titles in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, he added the US Open to his bow.

He beat Ruud in a final in which both players were vying not only for the title, but for the top of the world rankings.

Alcaraz won the first set with authority, always keeping it under control, commanding his shots and missing little.

His first break points came in the first game of the match and he scored the decisive break in the third game. It was enough to take the first set in 49 minutes, a step of great importance to stop Ruud.

The Norwegian also shone for sportsmanship – when he recognized that a ball double bounced he gave the point to his rival. And in the second set he reacted forcefully.

Demonstrating great athletic and technical preparation, Ruud achieved a break at 3-2 by reaching a drop shot by Alcaraz and causing his successive failure with a brilliant lob.

Ruud consolidated it after annulling a break point in the next game and frustrated the Murcian, who got stuck and caused a double fault to make it 6-2.

A new match was opened and both players went back to being familiar with each other, without a clear dominator, but exchanging blows and also many errors.

Alcaraz’s illusion barely lasted two games after the opening break, and he was on the ropes with 5-6 on the scoreboard when he had to break two set points in favor of Ruud to force a tiebreak.

The two set points annulled in a 12th game that lasted more than 10 minutes marked a turning point in the clash, because Alcaraz then dominated the tie-break and won it 7-1 to recover the advantage.

Alcaraz’s arm remained steady, taking advantage of a break point to provoke Ruud’s backhand miss, and break away 4-2.

There was no way to contain the Murcian, who fired up his serves and finished the duel with a 6-3, connecting two service winners.

He dropped to the ground and then ran and climbed up to his player box to hug his whole team and his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, both visibly moved by a title that makes Alcaraz one of the best players in modern tennis, with a bright future ahead.

“Things have been going so well. Today was a special evening,” Ruud said afterwards. “Both Carlos and I knew what we were playing for and what was at stake. We will be number two and number one in the world tomorrow, I think it is fitting.” EFE


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