Carlos Alcaraz is now the youngest number in the world. 1 in ATP ranking history after defeating Casper Ruud in the US Open final on Sunday.
Alcaraz, 19, defeated Ruud, 23, 6-4 2-6 7-6(7-1) 6-3 in a match that lasted more than three hours in New York.
He is the youngest in the world no. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973, breaking the mark set by Lleyton Hewitt, who was 20 when he became number one in 2001, and becoming the youngest men’s singles Grand Slam winner since that his compatriot Rafael Nadal won the first of his major titles in June 2005.
“This is something I’ve dreamed about since I was little. To be No. 1 in the world, to be a champion,” Alcaraz said, adding that he was thinking of some of his family members who didn’t get to see him play.
“I always say that it is not time to get tired in the final round of the Grand Slam, you have to give everything you have inside”, he said.
Ruud, who was trying to become the first Norwegian to claim the top spot, said he will continue to chase the No. 1. 1 spot. He will rise to second in the world from number seven.
“Today was a special day, both Carlos and I knew what we were playing for and we both knew what was at stake,” said Ruud. “I’m disappointed, of course, that I’m not No. 1, but No. 2 is not so bad either.”
Alcaraz played three consecutive five-set matches en route to the final, including the second-longest match in US Open history when he beat Jannik Sinner at 2:50 a.m. in the quarterfinals of Thursday, the last end of the tournament.
During the US Open, the Spaniard captivated the crowd with his speed, athleticism and outrageous strokes. This latest victory could be the first of many Grand Slam titles throughout his career.
Alcaraz broke early in the first set but faltered in the second, before taking a tense third-set tiebreak after saving two set points in the final game of the set. Seven points in a row moved the Spaniard to within a set of the trophy.
Ruud had no answer to his opponent’s crushing forehand and served in the fourth set and, without burdening the weight of history, Alvarez broke for a decisive 4-2 to see out a sensational victory.
A clay-court specialist, Alcaraz has drawn comparisons to 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal and is only the second Open Era player to reach the U.S. Open final in his teens after Pete Sampras.