Alcaraz Reaches New Heights, Into First Masters Final In Miami, Will Meet Ruud

by Staff | April 1st, 2022, 10:35 pm
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Just 18, Carlos Alcaraz is already 6-1 in final set tiebreakers and today in Miami he won two breakers to stop defending champion Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5), 7-6(2) and reach his first Masters final.

“I have a lot of emotions right now. It’s something that you dream of when you are a child,” said Alcaraz. “It’s really good to be in the final here in Miami. I love playing here. The crowd is amazing. I’m going to approach the final like a first round, trying to mask the nerves. I’m going to enjoy it, it’s going to be a great final.”

The teen who is not only fast but powerful with touch. Today, while he couldn’t dent the Hurkacz serve, he came up big once again in the biggest moments.

“I couldn’t return his serves, but I knew that the match was going to be long sets like it was, 7-6, 7-6,” said Alcaraz. “At the beginning, I saw that I couldn’t return. I thought we were going to play a lot of tie-breaks.”

Hurkacz had won his last 10 matches in Miami.

Alcaraz becomes the fifth youngest to make a Masters final and the second youngest to make the Miami final after 18-year-old Rafael Nadal. If Alcaraz wins Sunday, he’d be the youngest ever Miami champion.

Awaiting in the final is Casper Ruud who swiftly ended the Cinderella run of Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-1 in just over 90 minutes. Ruud made three Masters semifinals last year, all on clay, but now he’s taken it further on hard courts.

The Argentine, playing his first Masters, led with a break to start the match then had chances early in the second.

“It was not where I imagine myself playing my first Masters 1000 final, but I will take it,” Ruud told the crowd. “It is a great feeling and I am enjoying the city and the tournament. It was pretty brutal today. Very humid, which made the breathing a little tough.

“It is a great feeling. I am standing here smiling,” he added. “I have had three tough loses in my previous Masters semifinals and I thought today was a good chance to reach my first final. I started a little shaky but I was able to pull through and raise my level when I really needed to.”

Alcaraz won the only meeting between the two, beating the Norwegian handily on clay last year in Marbella.

It’s the second straight year with two new Masters finalists in Miami after 2021 when Hurkacz defeated Jannik Sinner.

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