Alcaraz on Rapid Rise and Major Goals

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday September 11, 2022

Flushing Meadows, NY—Carlos Alcaraz’s tennis drove tennis fans in Queens to a frenzy.

Fans at the US Open got behind the 19-year-old Spaniard as he notched three consecutive five-set wins to reach the final, and they filled Arthur Ashe Stadium with full-throated howls as Alcaraz strutted his stuff on the sports’ biggest stage on Sunday.

More: Alcaraz Wins US Open, Rises to No. 1 

The Spaniard rode the momentum to victory, defeating Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3, to become the first teenager to win a Slam since 2005 and the youngest player to win the US Open men’s singles title since Pete Sampras in 1990.

Alcaraz had the confidence and self-belief to handle the challenge, but he admitted to reporters on Sunday in New York that his sweeping success has come super fast.

“It’s crazy for me,” he said. “I’ve never thought that I was going to achieve something like that at 19 years old. So everything [happened] so fast. For me it’s unbelievable. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, since I started playing tennis. Of course, to lift this trophy today is amazing for me.”

Sunday’s final marked the first time in ATP history that both players were bidding for their first major title and the No.1 ranking simultaneously. By defeating Ruud, Alcaraz becomes the youngest ATP player in history to hold the No.1 ranking.

He told the press on Sunday that he plans to stay on top for as long as he can.

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

Alcaraz emerges from the New York fortnight as the ATP’s win leader in 2022. He has won 51 matches and claimed five titles, including his first two Masters 1000 titles and Miami and Madrid. He said the victory in Miami, where he also beat Ruud in the final, was the one that helped crystallize his believe this week in New York.

“Since I won Miami, I thought I would be able to have a Grand Slam in my hands,” he said. “But before Miami, I was thinking that I have to still grow up. I thought that I’m able to do a good result in a Grand Slam, but not a champion.

“But I would say after Miami I won great matches in a row. I would say after that I thought that I’m able to win a Grand Slam.”

Photo credit: Getty