Alcaraz Ascends To No. 1, Wins US Open Title Over Ruud

by Staff | September 12th, 2022, 12:12 am

Carlos Alcaraz is the new king of tennis. Just 19, the Spaniard collected his first career Grand Slam title Sunday night topping Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3. The title also gives him the new No. 1 ranking making him the youngest player to sit atop the men’s ranking.

“It is something I have dreamt of since I was a kid. To be No. 1 in the world, to be champion of a Grand Slam, is something I have worked really, really hard,” Alcaraz told the crowd. “It is tough to talk right now, I have lots of emotions. This is something I have tried to achieve. All the hard work I have done with my team and my family. I am just 19 years old, all the tough decisions have been with my parents and my team as well. It is something that is really special for me.”

Ruud came into the final having never taken a set off the teen in two previous matches, including the Miami final.

But this was a different Ruud today. He aimed his potent forehand at the Alcaraz backhand and frustrated his foe coming up with strong service returns.

However, Alcaraz managed to break in the very first game to take a lead he would never relinquish in the first set.

Ruud finally began executing in the second, using his serve and his forehand. Ruud would save break chances to hold for 3-2 then break Alcaraz to get his first real lead of the match. Serving 4-2 Ruud against escaped from Alcaraz, and then broke to level.

A match we had!

With Alcaraz perhaps feeling the pain of over 21 hours of tennis at that point plus consecutive 2am finishes, Ruud was looking the stronger player.

The two exchanged early breaks and then player even-steven until Alcaraz’s 5-6 game. Ruud had two set points but was denied. And in the breaker, Alcaraz won the last seven points.

Serving 2-3 in the fourth, Ruud’s hope crashed as Alcaraz soared behind his serve which he amped up.

“It’s crazy for me. I’ve never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old. So everything came so fast,” Alcaraz said. “For me it’s unbelievable. It’s something I dream since I was a kid, since I start playing tennis.”

Ruud missed out on No. 1 and falls to 0-2 in Slam finals. But he’ll rank No. 2 and will be in the No. 1 chase down the stretch.

“Things have been going so well. Today was a special evening,” Ruud said on court. “Both Carlos and I knew what we were playing for and what was at stake. We will be No. 2 and No. 1 in the world tomorrow, I think it is fitting. I am disappointed of course that I am not No. 1, but No. 2 is not bad either. I am happy with that number and I will continue to chase for my first Grand Slam title and No. 1 ranking.”

Alcaraz is the youngest Slam winner since Rafael Nadal in 2005 and the youngest at the US Open since Pete Sampras in 1990. Both those players are legends. Alcaraz wants to join them.

“Right now I’m enjoying the moment,” said Alcaraz. “I’m enjoying having the trophy in my hands.

“But of course I’m hungry for more. I want to be at the top for many, many weeks. I hope many years. I’m going to work hard again after these amazing two weeks. I’m going to fight to have more of this.”

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20 Comments for Alcaraz Ascends To No. 1, Wins US Open Title Over Ruud

robert Says:

The reality is he’s No.1 by default, not truly by merit.

This happened because Djokovic was not allowed to play in two of four slams and of course because Wimbledon was stripped of points for banning the Russians due to its hypocritical political crusade, which also hurt Medvedev’s chances.

What a clown show.

The fact Djokovic was allowed to play two but not two others, despite the vaccine not even working to stop Covid, shows how laughably politically controlled and politically inconsistent the ‘global’ sport is. Same goes for the Russians being banned in one part of NATO but not the others.

The whole ranking system breaks down and becomes pointless when you have absurdity like this going on.

zed Says:

Agreed Robert. 2022 will be a year that will have multiple asterisks against it.

My one fear is that they haven’t yet stopped. They may do similar stupid things next year.

chrisford1 Says:

I think you are missing the point. Alcaraz is a super talent, beating both Rafa and Novak at Madrid, with a game when he is in a zone that maybe is as good as any of the Big 3 came with when they were in God Mode.
Youngest #1 since the Open Era started.
No asterisk.
Djokovic opted to be the only active player on the pro tour to remain “Pureblood” and lose access to several countries by HIS CHOICE.
Medvedev had a chance to defend USO if not his 2021 4th round Wimby exit do his being a Russian outcast barred from that UK event had no impact on Alcaraz winning the US and taking the 2000 points

It’s not just Alcaraz. All credit to Caspar Ruud, Tiafoe, Sinner also arriving as contenders at Majors.

And on the woman’s side, this is the year the Williams sisters finally left the ranks of contenders after 25 years (1997 Venus makes the USO Final).
And the top players now are largely enjoyable to watch.

zed Says:

Skeezer, we are largely in agreement. Everything that you have predicted will come to pass. I’m just saying not quite yet, that’s all.

The asterisk discussion is valid given what an unusual year it has been. The asterisk is not saying “not valid” it’s just saying “please be aware of these extenuating circumstances in 2022”.

No one disputes that Novak chose not to be injected, what I say is that it was unnecessary to exclude him for that reason.

I welcome the new age, I really do. I particularly like Sinner and was disappointed he couldn’t hold back a resurgent Alcaraz. What a match though!

zed Says:

My apologies Chris, I just realised I used Skeezer’s handle in my response to your post.

Giles Says:

Many many congratulations Carlos. Well deserved. Keep it up.

Kiwi Says:

Alcaraz is the future of tennis, but this No1 comes with a huge asterisk on it. Djokovic is the true No1, he was denied playing 2 out of 4 Slams (+ Wimbledon points not counted) and a number of other tournaments.

PK Says:

It’s inspiring to see new faces – and energetic, highly watchable tennis – at this year’s US Open. Really looking forward to the 2023 season!

Dave Says:

So many people debating who’s better out of the big 3, and it’s hilarious that Alcaraz comes along and is going to destroy the main records. And I think it won’t even be close. It’s scary to think how many majors he could win. We see that it’s possible to win majors into your mid to late 30’s now. It has taught me that comparing players when it comes to who’s better is a dead end street. Someone else will come along and destroy the debate. The media and others were already crowning Federer before he even matched or Surpassed Sampras in Grand Slams, and they’ll do the same with Alcaraz. I agree with Skeezer on some of his points, but not all. Alcaraz has a better chance of winning the French Open in the next few years than he does Wimbledon. Djokovic will need to get even better at finishing points because his game doesn’t match up well against Alcaraz. I learned from this tournament that Alcaraz won’t lose because of Fatigue. He proved me wrong for sure. The only way Nadal or Djokovic have any chance of holding onto the Grandslam record over Alcaraz is winning more slams that Alcaraz would have won had they retired already. I’m not saying this about Alcaraz because he just won a Grandslam and so it’s easy to overhype someone like this. I already thought this for the majority of this year. Every time I watch an Alcaraz match, he’s doing things I wonder if I’ve ever seen. He’s not my favourite player, but I have to respect the things he can do on a tennis court. And they are unique and have never been seen before.

lylenubbins Says:

Congrats to Carlos, what a tournament!!! Also unfortunately have to agree with Robert that the stupid politics and “vaccine” issues do require an asterisk next to this tournament.

Lots of interesting unknowns going forward. Can Foe maintain this level? Will Kyrgios will continue to be a factor? Will Djokovic be allowed to play a normal schedule next year and if so will he still dominate? Will Rafa be healthy and ready for Australia? Is Roger going to come back next season and if so will he be a factor or will it just be a farewell tour?

A Ray Says:

C’mon, Dave!

Crowning a teenager “the greatest ever” after he’s won exactly ONE title is a bit premature don’t you think? Sure people were saying Fed had a chance to challenge Sampras record — but it wasn’t when he won his first. That’s just a bit early — because it’s not just tennis — it’s life, luck, fate, the stars & moon aligning, AND who you have to compete against to get there. Remember the absolute best tennis players as a teenager was Monica Seles; without a crazed German, there is no telling what either Seles’s (likely more) or Graf’s (likely fewer) final totals would have been. If you’re saying he has all the things the big three have (they have still won 63 of the last 77 majors) and yet won’t have near the competition, then that’s a “C’mon, man!”, too. We don’t know that yet either.

Pitchaboy Says:

1. There is no asterisk whatsoever. All those who were eligible to play, played. Carlos won it fair and square.
2. Novak made his choice; he is solely responsible for missing out. Non-citizens cannot get into the US without a vaccine. He deserves no special treatment.
3. The game has changed with this generation. Carlos has the defense of Novak, the relentless attack of Fed and the never say die philosophy of Rafa. Skinner is another terrific player. RF is likely past his use by date and the other two have 1 or 2 years where they could still pull off majors. The first two slams of next year will tell us if there has truly been a changing of the guard.

chrisford1 Says:

If a sport becomes uncompetitive and goes “records obsessed” that is great for the fans seeing Amazing New Records go to the same 1-3 athletes in coronations vs. contests, but not regular fans.
Tennis to me is a sport that is more than just being about how many majors someone has.
And how many this or that trophies an athlete in tennis got is a function of how fierce the competition was, the way the surfaces play, the equipment, sports medicine.
A lot of great talent is emerging as we bid sayonara to the Big 3 and Serena in the next couple of years. . Maybe Alcazar will have big piles of trophies, but he is just starting out

Alison hodge Says:

Well said we can find an * for any win or loss to suit our emotional bias if we really want to, all pointless, Novak hasn’t dominated the USO in the same way he has the AO anyway, he’s to numerous players over the years, and hasn’t won the USO since 2015 or 2016 can’t remember the exact year, anyway that’s not exactly what you call domination

Alison hodge Says:

Sorry 2018

Pitchaboy Says:

I used to pay to watch McEnroe. Then it was Sampras. And then, Fed. I stopped watching tennis as Fed began his decline. After close to a decade, this kid Alcaraz piqued my interest. It is easier to dominate these years as grass plays like a glorified fast hard court for the first week and like glorified slow hard court in the second. Having said that, hard to imagine the era of the Big 3 repeat itself. Hopefully not as it made the tournaments boring.

Dave Says:

A Ray,

Of course things would need to go right with injuries and other matters. But I’m not talking about that. And I have no doubts Seles would have broken records had the traumatic stabbing incident not happened. I’m just saying if Alcaraz stays healthy, he breaks many records, it’s that simple. He has it all. The complete package that no one else has ever had in tennis. Period.

Wog Boy Says:

I can’t wait to see how some of these comments will age.

Meanwhile Nole at his brother Djole wedding last weekend, lasted 3 days, started in Belgrade church wedding and moving to Montenegro Adriatic coast with civil wedding and two days party, he obviously new he won’t be going to NY if they picked the weekend of USO final for the wedding, no?

Civil ceremony, barefooted party on the beach:

zed Says:

WB, I agree. The planning for that event would have started quite some time ago so Novak’s team would already have known the CDC guidelines weren’t going to change in time for the USO.

It’s frustrating that politics pollutes sport but I guess politics pollutes every human endeavour.

Russian tennis players who just want to ply their trade are banned from Wimbeldon, sickening. I would not advocate American players be banned due to any of the many invasions their government performed, but of course there’s no danger of that ever happening is there?

How many Olympic athletes have trained incredibly hard their entire lives only to be thwarted by their own government sanctioning an Olympic games?

How much better would our lives be if somehow we could govern ourselves without politicians? Naive I know. We will forever be cursed by the blight of politicians (and bureaucrats).

Wog Boy Says:

Zed, nicely said.

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