- Quote: ‘I’ve never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years years of age’
By Andrew Atkinson
Murcia tennis star Carlos Alcaraz in only his second full year on the ATP tour, won a maiden grand slam title by defeating Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to land the US Open.
“It’s crazy for me. I’ve never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old,” said Alcaraz.
“So everything has come so fast. For me it’s unbelievable. It’s something I dream since I was a kid, since I start playing tennis,” he said.
Alcaraz phenomenal rise to world No 1 on September 12 makes him the youngest player to achieve the feat in ATP history.
At 19 years and four months, the Spaniard is the first teenage No 1 the men’s game has ever had and more than a year younger than the previous record holder, Lleyton Hewitt.
The final on September 11 marked the first time in the Open era that two players had faced each other with a maiden grand slam title and the No 1 ranking on the line.
Alcaraz and 23 year-old Ruud, who reached the French Open final earlier this year, also contested the second-youngest grand slam final in the Open era in terms of player age, behind only the 1990 US Open between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
Alcaraz spent 20 hours and 20 minutes on court, and had contested three consecutive five-setters leading up to the final.
“I always say that there’s no time to be tired,” said Alcaraz.
“In the finals of the grand slam or any tournament. You have to give everything on court, you have to give anything you have inside,” said Alcaraz.
Alcaraz, who collapsed to the ground, sobbing into his hands as he thought of his mother and grandfather back home in Murcia, following his victory.
“I’m hungry for more. I want to be in the top for many, many weeks. Hope many years,” said Alcaraz.
“I’m going to work hard again after this week, this amazing two weeks. I’m going to fight for have more of this,” he said.
Not since the initial rise of Rafael Nadal, around the year of Alcaraz’s birth in 2003.