Arthur Christory / Gavel Media

Alcaraz Defeats Ruud, Becomes Youngest US Open Champion and World No.1

Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest person to win a US Open championship at just 19 years old on Sunday afternoon. He came into the tournament ranked No. 3, while his opponent in the final match, Casper Ruud, was ranked No. 5. 

Ruud fell to Alcaraz in a four-set match – 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7-1), 6-3 – that lasted over three hours. After this win, Alcaraz created history as the youngest ever top-ranked male player, beating Lleyton Hewitt’s record from 2001 (he was 20 years old at the time). He is also the youngest man to win a major title since Rafael Nadal’s championship in the 2005 French Open. 

The finalists traded the first two sets, with Alcaraz winning the first and Ruud dominating in the second. Ruud had an admirable act of sportsmanship in the opening set when he admitted to the official that he had not gotten to a ball in time before it bounced twice. The act was applauded by the crowd and by his opponent. 

By the end of the second set, it seemed that Alcaraz was getting tired: he was missing easy smashes and playing a lot of drop shows throughout. This wasn’t surprising to most; he played three consecutive five-set matches to reach the final round. Ruud was capitalizing on the teen’s errors whenever he took the chance, and it seemed that Ruud was taking control of the match. 

However, after trading games throughout the third set, Alcaraz seemed to be fully back in the game. After forcing a tiebreaker at 6-6, Alcaraz crushed Ruud 7-1. The momentum from winning the tiebreak carried Alcaraz to victory in the fourth set. He defeated Ruud soundly in a 6-3 set to claim the championship. 

This only was Alcaraz’s eighth major tournament, but by securing this championship, he is the No. 1 player in the world. He dominated on Sunday with 14 aces and earning 11 breakpoints. As he ages, it seems that he will only be improving in the years to come. Ruud is now 0-2 in Slam finals after losing to Nadal at the French open in June. His act of sportsmanship will be remembered as he continues his career, in which he is expected to have success. At only 22 years old, he has room to improve his game as well. Both players will be making appearances in future tournaments.

International Studies major, and a huge fan of late-night mozz sticks. Boston sports > all, except the Yankees have my heart (sorry!).

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