Head to head …
Ruud was in another final earlier this year at the 1000 level final (that’s good) in Miami, losing in straight sets to… Alcaraz.
They also played on clay last year, with Alcaraz winning this time too.
Prematch interview with Kasper Ruud, and the question has something to do with the fact that he was also in the final at Roland Garros. He doesn’t offer too much other than it’s been a great year.
Carlo Alcaraz is asked about the prospect of becoming the youngest player at No. 1 and how he has said that after his epic games so far, he “doesn’t have time to be tired”. He agrees.
National anthem time. The US, that is. Not Norway’s or Spain’s. Do they do that at Wimbledon, Roland Garros or the Australian Open? Just curious.
Aiden Doyle replies: “Download the US Open app and there is a radio stream there. Works in the UK and the commentary is excellent.”
I already have mail, a simple request for information about a British radio show of this men’s final. Can someone who is not in the United States help?
A general question about Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) and Olympia: US collegiate tennis, which attracts a significant number of international players in addition to Americans, has a team format with six singles players and three doubles teams. The doubles matches are played first, and whichever team wins two of the three collects a point. Each individual game is also worth one point.
Would that be a better format than what we have now in the Davis and Billie Jean King cups? Would a team format make the Olympics more interesting?
Or how about the format for World Team tennis (which takes 2022 off)? This has men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles, all playing a set of five instead of six, with each game being worth one point in the team classification. (A shutout would therefore be 25-0.)
At other events…
The women’s doubles has just ended Barbara Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic against the USA Taylor Townsend and Caty McNally 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
The men’s wheelchair singles were also wrapped with the second seed today Alfi Hewitt of Britain defeating top seed Shingo Kunieda from Japan.
The top seeds also meet Japan in the women’s wheelchair singles at Louis Armstrong Stadium Yui Kamji leading in the Netherlands Diede de Groot. Later at Armstrong, there is another matchup between the top two seeds in quad singles – an all-Dutch matchup by the 19-year-old Niels Wink and Sam Schroeder.
Vink and Schroder earlier teamed to win the quad doubles event. We had another case of doubles partners in singles finals in boys’ wheelchair tournaments at 17 years old Ben Bartram of Norwich defeated the 17-year-old Dahnon Ward by Keyworth in singles but together to win the doubles event.
Other winners in New York:
Ladies Singles: Iga Swiatek (Poland)
Men’s doubles: Rajeev Ram (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)/Joe Salisbury (UNITED KINGDOM)
Mixed double: Storm Sanders/John Peers (Australia)
How they got here…
Ruud passed Britain Kyle Edmundhit Tim van Rijthoven in four sets, then took four hours and 23 minutes to beat USA Thomas Paul – and with a 6:0 in the fifth set. His fourth-round win over France Corentin Moutet was a little faster – 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2. Ruud followed with a straight-set win over Italy Matteo Berretini in quarterfinals and solid three-hour win Karen Khachanovspoil the run of the man who has spoiled Nick Kyrgios‘ advance to the quarterfinals.
Alcaraz scaled El Capitan, solved Fermat’s Last Theorem, brokered lasting peace in the Middle East, and defeated home favorite Frances Tiafoe.
At least it seems as if his performances in the early rounds had been so arduous. He opened with straight-set wins against two Argentines – Sebastian Bass and Federico Coria – and beat the 21-year-old American Jenson Brooksby.
Then it got interesting:
3 hours and 54 minutes to beat Croatia Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
5 hours and 15 minutes to beat Italy Jannik sinner 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.
4 hours and 19 minutes to beat the USA Frances Tiafoe 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.
He’s still only 19, which means he’s spent about half his life on the pitch at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Who is number 1?
We’ll know in about two hours. Or three. Or five. At least probably until midnight.
If you don’t know the names Kasper Ruud and Carlo Alcaraz — First of all, you missed a great tournament. But as you move on, you’ll surely recognize those names, and you should start by knowing that today’s winner will not only take the US Open title, but also the highest placing in the world.
Alcaraz looks like the face of the future. He’s only 19, but he already has a dizzying array of shots and a bottomless gas tank.
(Wait – isn’t a bottomless gas tank a bad thing? Wouldn’t that be a big spill? And why use fossil fuels at all? Maybe a self-charging battery?)
However, Ruud is far more than a speed limit on the road to Alcaraz’ rise. He has nine career titles, although eight are on clay. This matchup will surely be repeated many times over the years, especially at Roland Garros.
So sit back, order your pizza (in honor of the occasion, New York-style, of course – but also because Chicago-style pizza is actually a casserole) and watch this breathtaking tournament draw to a close.
Beau will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Tumaini Carayol in what is likely to be an intriguing contest:
Over the course of an intense, chaotic and wildly entertaining US Open semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe, as their combined creativity, athleticism and joy fused into entertainment in its purest form, Alcaraz absorbed so many blows. He conceded a difficult tie break in the first set with a double fault and after establishing his dominance he couldn’t hold on. Alcaraz kept losing serve, failing to get a match point and finding himself in a fifth set.
There were so many moments where the momentum could have dangerously changed, but no matter how the match twisted, it maintained its intensity to the end. In the three consecutive five-set bouts that have taken him to the finals, that resilience has been his defining trait. It will make him so hard to put down when he takes on Casper Ruud for the men’s US Open title on Sunday.
Together they have devised an intriguing scenario that provides a stark contrast to the years of dominance of the Big Three. Ruud and Alcaraz will not only fight for their first Grand Slam title in the final, number 1 in the world rankings is also at stake. It’s rare enough for players to reach the world top for the first time after winning a Slam. The most recent event in the men’s game came when Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2011, his third Major.
Ruud’s obstacles are clearly numerous. Despite reaching his second Grand Slam final of the season, Ruud has never beaten a top 10 opponent in a Grand Slam tournament – what a time to finally do so. They faced each other in a grand final at the Miami Open earlier this year, a first Masters 1000 final for both, and while Alcaraz was yet to break through the top 15, he won in straight sets.
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