19-Year-Old Carlos Alcaraz Wins U.S. Open To Become Youngest No. 1 In ATP History

Like a steam engine rumbling down the tracks, Carlos Alcaraz has been coming for the world’s top tennis prizes for some time now.

With his unique combination of power, precision and speed, it has appeared virtually inevitable that Alcaraz would contend for Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 world ranking for the last couple of years. In March, at 18, he won his first Masters 1000 title in Miami, beating Casper Ruud in straight sets on hardcourts. In May, he beat Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev on his way to a second Masters 1000 title in Madrid.

And on Sunday, Alcaraz authored the latest chapter in his exploding career, winning his first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open with his third straight victory over Ruud β€” 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3, capping it off with a 125-mph service winner before collapsing on his back on the court β€” and becoming the youngest No. 1 player in ATP history. Lleyton Hewitt, at 20 years, 9 months, was the previous youngest No. 1.

Due to rain, the roof was closed in Arthur Ashe Stadium and it was the first indoor final since 2018. The crowd on hand to witness Alcaraz’s breakthrough included Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Bon Jovi and Billie Jean King.

β€œThis is something I dreamt of since I was a kid,” Alcaraz said in court. β€œTo be No. 1 in the world, to be winner of a Grand Slam, it’s tough to talk right now. It’s something that I tried to achieve. All the hard work that I did with my family.

β€œI’m just 19 years old, This is something that is really, really special to me.”

Alcaraz, who has long been compared to his countryman Rafael Nadal, became the first man since Nadal to win a major before his 20th birthday. Nadal captured the first of his 14 French Open titles as a teenager in 2005. Pete Sampras in 1990 was the last teenager to win at the U.S. Open. At 19 years, 1 month, Sampras was three months younger than Alcaraz.

Alcaraz also became the third straight man to win his first major title at the U.S. Open after Dominic Thiem (2020) and Daniil Medvedev (2021). He took home $2.6 million with the trophy, while Ruud earned $1.3 million.

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