New number one in the world: child prodigy Alcaraz wins US Open

New number one in the world
Child prodigy Alcaraz wins US Open

Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz wins his first Grand Slam title at the US Open. At the same time, the 19-year-old becomes the youngest world number one in tennis history.

Carlos Alcaraz has reached the goal of his dreams: The exceptional Spanish talent stormed to win the title at the US Open and is the first teenager to jump to the top of the world rankings. Alcaraz prevailed in New York 6: 4, 2: 6, 7: 6 (7: 1), 6: 3 against the Norwegian Casper Ruud and celebrated the very special double strike.

With this, the high-flyer once again smashed previous records. So far, the Australian Lleyton Hewitt at 20 years and nine months was the youngest number one in the world in the history of the ATP ranking since 1973. After Pete Sampras in 1990, Alcaraz is also the second teenager since the introduction of professional tennis in 1968 to win the US Open and the youngest Grand Slam tournament title holder since Rafael Nadal’s triumph in Paris in 2005.

Alcaraz received prize money of 2.6 million US dollars for the win.

(Photo: AP)

Ruud, who had already reached the final at the French Open, missed another chance to become the first Norwegian to win a major title and take the lead in the world rankings. Three Scandinavians have greeted from the top so far – they were all Swedes in Björn Borg, Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander.

Alcaraz had played 20 hours and 19 minutes on his difficult way to the final. And in the course of the match he broke the previous record of South African Kevin Anderson at Grand Slams, which was 23:20 hours since Wimbledon 2018. Accordingly, one of the big questions was how much the hardships, especially the sensational quarter and semi-final matches against Jannik Sinner (Italy) and Frances Tiafoe (USA), had an impact. And how it was ordered to the nerves of both professionals.

“Now is not the time for me to be tired,” Alcaraz said immediately before stepping onto the pitch. “I’m trying to enjoy the final,” said Ruud: “I may have to play the best tennis of my life.”

Alcaraz flashes special athleticism

The match on the day after the women’s final, in which the Pole Iga Swiatek won 6: 2, 7: 6 (7: 5) against the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, now three-time Grand Slam winner, started competitively with slight advantages for Alcaraz. He kept flashing his special athleticism, acted more offensively and finally got through an early break.

But Ruud stayed tuned and Alcaraz showed the first signs of a somewhat cracked physique. His stroke selection got worse and the Norwegian didn’t have to be asked twice and equalized after sets. Tactics now played an increasingly important role and Ruud seemed to sense that Alcaraz was no longer able to walk as quickly, but was unable to use two set balls and the fiercely fighting Spaniard snapped in the tie-break.

Alcaraz wanted to know now and put Ruud under heavy pressure. He made the break to make it 4:2 and was then unstoppable on the way to the title.

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