At the moment of the great triumph, everything fell away from Carlos Alcaraz. The Spanish starlet threw his racquet aside and fell to the ground, stunned. He finally found some strength and ran to his box, where he hugged friends, family and coaches. The overjoyed tennis pro would have preferred to hug the whole world.
The 19-year-old won his first Grand Slam title and became the youngest world number one in tennis history. Alcaraz prevailed in the final of the US Open in New York on Monday night against the Norwegian Casper Ruud (23) 6: 4, 2: 6, 7: 6 (7: 1), 6: 3 and was rewarded with it twice: In his first Grand Slam final he won the premiere and replaced the Russian Daniil Medvedev as the leader in the world rankings.
There has never been a younger number one than Alcaraz among men. The exceptional talent is also the first teenager since compatriot Rafael Nadal in 2005 (French Open) to triumph in a Grand Slam tournament. The last time there was a younger winner at the US Open was 32 years ago by the American Pete Sampras. One of the first to congratulate Nadal was via Twitter: "This is the culmination of your first great season, there will certainly be many more to come."
For the win, Alcaraz received prize money of 2.6 million US dollars. The defeated Ruud, who could have been the first Norwegian to win the Grand Slam tournament and be number one in the world, can console himself with 1.3 million US dollars. A minute's silence was observed before the first serve at Arthur Ashe Stadium in front of about 24,000 spectators on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
"It's going to get on my nerves - and we'll both feel it," Ruud said before the match. Both young stars actually started nervously, with Alcaraz feeling the enormous strain of the previous six games with a total playing time of 20:19 hours in the second set. But the Spaniard successfully fought back.