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Alcaraz wins US Open and becomes youngest world number one

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Alcaraz wins US Open and becomes youngest world number one

Alcaraz, the first teenager to claim the top ranking, is the youngest Grand Slam men’s champion since Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open after a performance which yielded 55 winners and 14 aces.

Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, holds up the championship trophy after defeating Casper Ruud, of Norway, in the men's singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in New York.
Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, holds up the championship trophy after defeating Casper Ruud, of Norway, in the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in New York.
(AP)

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open and became the youngest man to ascend to the world number one ranking.

On Sunday’s game, the 19-year-old dragged his weary body to a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 victory over Norway’s Casper Ruud in the final.

Alcaraz, the first teenager to claim the top ranking, is the youngest Grand Slam men’s champion since Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open after a performance which yielded 55 winners and 14 aces.

On a day of landmarks, he is also the youngest champion in New York since Pete Sampras in 1990.

“This is something that I dreamt of since I was a kid — to be number one in the world, to be a champion of a Grand Slam,” said Alcaraz.

“This is something that I worked really really hard for. It’s tough to talk right now, a lot of emotions.

“This is something that I tried to achieve, all the hard work that I did with my team and my family. I’m just 19 and all the top decisions were taken by my parents and my team. This is something that is really, really special for me.”

Ruud sportsmanship

Both men saved break points in their opening service games before Alcaraz gained the only break of the first set for a key 3-1 lead.

Ruud dropped the set but triumphed in terms of sportsmanship when he called a double bounce on himself in the eighth game, conceding the point to the Spaniard.

Alcaraz served it out to love and a one set lead courtesy of his 13 winners to six for the Norwegian.

The Spanish teenager, who went into the final with a 2-0 winning record over Ruud, squandered a break point at 2-2 in the second set.

Ruud made him pay, edging ahead for 4-2 and then levelling the final on a second set point after another careless Alcaraz drop-shot opened the court invitingly for the Norwegian.

At that moment, Alcaraz had been on court at the tournament for almost 22 hours, passing the mark set by Andy Murray when the Briton claimed the 2012 title.

He was ahead for 2-0 in the third set before Ruud hit back.

The 23-year-old Norwegian had two set points in an 11-minute 12th game but was unable to convert as Alcaraz put away inch-perfect, back-to-back volleys.
Source: AFP

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