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Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz has won his first career Grand Slam, defeating Casper Ruud in four sets to claim the 2022 US Open men’s title.
At just 19 years old, Alcaraz is now the No. 1 player in the world after his victory, cementing himself as the youngest player ever to receive that designation.
The final score of the match was 6-4. 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 for Alcaraz, as he dropped to the court in amazement.
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Once he got up and shook hands with Ruud at the net, the first thing Alcaraz wanted to do was walk up to his box to embrace his coaches, family and friends after accomplishing a feat no player ever has in their career.
“This is something I dreamed of since I was a kid,” Alcaraz said after the match before receiving his check for $2.6 million dollars and his US Open trophy. “To be No. 1 in the world, to be a champion at a Grand Slam. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for. It’s hard to even talk about it. I have so many emotions.”
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This match saw momentum flip directly to Alcaraz heading into the fourth set after he was dominant in the tiebreak to claim the third set. Alcaraz would go on to break the first game of the fourth set with Ruud serving, and it would lead to an eventual 4-2 lead for him.
Alcaraz would use his final two games serving to give the rest of his energy toward the win.
Ruud wasn’t too upset after losing to Alcaraz, as he is now the world No. 2 in tennis. While he’s disappointed, he knows he will continue working to that moment Alcaraz experienced in Flushing.
“We knew what we were playing for, we knew what was at stake,” Ruud said. “…I think it’s fitting. I’m disappointed I’m not No. 1, but No. 2 isn’t so bad either.”
Both players also acknowledged the anniversary of Sept. 11 and the tragic events that occurred not too far from Arthur Ashe Stadium where they were playing.
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Alcaraz had a long road to get to the finals, playing in three straight, five-set matches, including the quarterfinals with Jannik Sinner that became the latest-ever finish in US Open history.
He also defeated American Frances Tiafoe, who forced a fifth set after winning the fourth-set tiebreak.
Through all of that, Alcaraz seemed to never be tired. It was all worth it in the end.
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“I always say that there is no time to be tired in the final round of a Grand Slam or every tournament,” he said. “You have to give everything on court, you have to give everything you have inside. It’s something I worked really hard on.”