Sept. 11 (UPI) — Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz traded sets with Casper Ruud before he used a strong service game to finish off the Norwegian and claim the 2022 U.S. Open men’s singles tennis title Sunday in Flushing, N.Y.
He also will be the youngest men’s No. 1 player in the world in the history of the ATP rankings, which will be released Monday morning. Those rankings started in 1973.
“This is something I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid: to be No. 1 in the world and to be a champion of a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview with ESPN.
Alcaraz, the No. 3 seed, totaled 14 aces and 55 winners in the 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 win inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Ruud, the No. 5 seed, totaled four aces and 37 winners in the three-hour, 20-minute match.
Ruud, 23, and Alcaraz used excellent athleticism to provide impressive court coverage and often fought through long rallies.
Ruud held to win the first game of the match. Alcaraz also held on his first serve. He then broke Ruud to earn a lead in the third game. Both players held their serves for the remainder of the set, resulting in an early Alcaraz edge.
Ruud and Alcaraz each held through the first four games of the second set. Ruud held his serve and broke Alcaraz twice down the stretch, snatching the final four games of the set and tying the match.
Alcaraz broke Ruud to start the third set. He then held serve to go up 2-0. Ruud held and converted a break point to tie the match in the fourth game. He also held serve in the fifth game to take a late lead.
Ruud and Alcaraz then exchanged game victories before Ruud took a 6-5 lead into the 10th game. But Alcaraz used an overhead winner on a return to force a tiebreak.
Ruud won the first point of the tiebreak, but Alcaraz flipped momentum and claimed the final seven points to claim the third set.
Alcaraz continued to thrive in the fourth set. He exchanged game victories with his foe through the first four games. He then held serve to claim the fifth and broke Ruud in the sixth. He held in the seventh to earn a 5-2 edge in the set.
Ruud won the eighth game. Alcaraz started the ninth with an ace. He used a cross-court drop shot to jump up 30-0. He took a 40-15 edge with another ace.
Alcaraz unleashed another powerful serve, which Ruud couldn’t reach, for his final winner.
He celebrated by falling on his back onto the court before running up into the stands to embrace his supporters.
Alcaraz, like women’s singles champion Iga Swiatek of Poland, claimed a $2.6 million prize for his first-place finish.
Ruud, who earned $1.3 million as the runner-up, will move up to No. 2 in the ATP rankings.
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