Carlos Alcaraz: I’m hungry for more

Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday, becoming the youngest man, at 19 years and 130 days, to achieve the World No.1 ranking.

Alcaraz beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in the final. Alcaraz is also the youngest Grand Slam men’s champion since his idol Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open. He is also the youngest champion in New York since Pete Sampras in 1990. 

Carlos Alcaraz kisses his US Open winner’s trophy

“Right now I’m enjoying the moment, enjoying having the trophy in my hands. But I’m hungry for more. I want to be in the top for many weeks and hopefully many years. I’m going to work hard again after these amazing two weeks. I’m going to fight for more of this,” said Alcaraz.

Also Read: US Open 2022 final preview: Carlos Alcaraz faces a determined Casper Rudd

It was a gruelling tournament for Alcaraz. On Sunday, he claimed the record for most time spent on court at a single Grand Slam, passing the 23 hours and 21 minutes it took Kevin Anderson to finish runner-up at Wimbledon in 2018. Most of his 23 hours and 40 minutes were taken up by the more than 13 hours it took him to play three successive five-setters to reach the final. He played a five-hour 15-minute quarter-final against Jannik Sinner. 

The US Open is Alcaraz’s fifth trophy of 2022, following Masters triumphs in Miami, Madrid, Rio and Barcelona. It was in Madrid that he announced himself as a serious threat to the sport’s heavyweights when he became the first man to defeat Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the same claycourt event. 

The final got off to a tentative start. Both men saved break points in their opening service games before Alcaraz broke for a 3-1 lead. Alcaraz hit 13 winners to Ruud’s six as he took the first set. Alcaraz then squandered a break point at 2-2 in the second set. Ruud edgedg ahead for 4-2 and then 6-2 to make it one-set all. Alcaraz was ahead 2-0 in the third set before Ruud hit back. The Norwegian had two set points in the 12th game, but failed to convert as Alcaraz put away inch-perfect, back-to-back volleys. Alcaraz then raced through his first tiebreak success of the tournament as Ruud’s game fell apart. The Spaniard sensed his chance, breaking for 4-2 in the fourth set and then going up 5-2. Ruud held to love, but Alcaraz held serve next up to win in three hours and 23 minutes. 

Also Read: US Open 2022: Carlos Alcaraz wins epic semi-final clash against Frances Tiafoe

22y 76days
Age at which Rafael Nadal first became No.1 after winning five Slam titles

23y 178days
Age at which Roger Federer first became No.1 after winning two Slams titles

24y 43days
Age at which Novak Djokovic first became No.1 after winning two Slam titles.

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Originally published at www.mid-day.com

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