19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final on Sunday to clinch his first Grand Slam title and become the youngest man to be ranked No. 1 in ATP rankings.
Alcaraz, considered the next big thing in men’s tennis, became the youngest Grand Slam champion since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, 19, lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 2005. He won three consecutive five-set matches to reach his first Grand Slam final.
When Alcaraz arrived at Flushing Meadows, he was World No. 4. However; he left the hard-court major after climbing to the top spot, becoming the youngest player to rise to the No.1 ranking since 1973.
“It is something I have dreamt of since I was a kid. To be No. 1 in the world, to be champion of a Grand Slam, is something I have worked really, really hard for,” Alcaraz said during the trophy ceremony.
“It is tough to talk right now. I have lots of emotions. This is something I have tried to achieve. All the hard work I have done with my team and my family. I am just 19 years old. All the tough decisions have been with my parents and my team as well. It is something that is really special for me.”