By Jürgen Fritz, Tue 13 Sep 2022, Cover photo: © JFB
The world has a new Grand Slam winner and a new No. 1. It’s the youngest No. 1 ever in men’s tennis. 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz beats 23-year-old Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 in the youngest US Open final in 32 years. There are two Spaniards at the top of the world now.
23.65 hours to first Grand Slam win
What Alcaraz accomplished at the 2022 US Open is almost unfathomable. One wonders where he gets this incredible energy from. The Spaniard was on court for 23.65 hours in his seven matches before winning the tournament, longer than any other Grand Slam winner before. Three times in a row he had to go over five sets and three times he had to play late into the night. In the quarter-final against 21-year-old Jannik Sinner, perhaps the playing and dramatic highlight of the entire tournament, he even had to fend off a match point and played 5:15 hours in the night session until 02:50 local time in New York. Never before had a match at the US Open ended so late.
In the final you could partly feel that Ruud was the fresher. In the second and third sets, one could easily get the impression that the Norwegian would walk off the court as the winner, that Alcaraz would not be able to physically endure it. But then he got a boost of energy in the tiebreak of the third set, really turned up the heat and won this perhaps decisive tiebreak 7-1 and then also the match after „only“ four sets and „only“ 3:20 hours and thus won his first Grand Slam tournament (A).
This was also Alcaraz‘ fifth title this season, all higher-ranked ones from ATP 500 (D) upwards, including two Masters 1000 (C). No other player has won that many tournaments this year (Nadal has four).
Congratulations to probably the greatest talent in tennis since Federer, Nadal and Djokovic! And congratulations also to Casper Ruud, who played a great tournament, reached a Grand Slam final for the second time after Roland Garros, showed great tennis again and again and developed enormously over the last months. In the meantime, he has also become one of the world’s top players. But the man of the moment, these days and perhaps also of the year is Carlos Alcaraz.
Two Spaniards at the top of the world
And this is how the current JFB 52 Week Tennis World Ranking looks after the US Open (A):
Tiafoe in the Top 20 for the first time, Khachanov again
Murray and Nakashima in the top 50 again, Draper for the first time
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