Carlos Alcaraz, 19, wins the US Open to become the youngest world No. 1 in men’s tennis history

NEW YORK — Carlo Alcaraz used his combination of Moxie and Maturity to hit Kasper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 in Sunday’s US Open final to win his first Grand Slam title at the age of 19 and become the youngest man to rank 1st .

Alcaraz is a Spaniard who has finished runners-up in his eighth major tournament and at Flushing Meadows but has already garnered a lot of attention as he is seen as someone who is being considered the next big thing in men’s tennis. He is the youngest man to win a major title since Rafael Nadal was the same age at the 2005 French Open and the youngest at the US Open since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1990.

He was greeted by choruses of “Ole, Ole, Ole! Carlos!” echoing from the closed roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium – and Alcaraz often motioned for the supporting spectators to raise their voices.

He only briefly showed signs of tiring, having to go through three consecutive five-setters to reach the title match, something no one in New York had done in 30 years. He spent a total of 23 hours and 40 minutes on the court during the tournament, the most for a man since the beginning of 2000 at a major tournament.

Alcaraz dropped the second set and faced two set points while trailing 6-5 in the third. But he obliterated every one of those point-from-the-scenes opportunities for Ruud with the kind of quick-reflecting, soft volleys he repeatedly displayed. And with the help of a series of shafted shots from a toned-looking Ruud in the ensuing tie-break, Alcaraz stormed through to the end of that set.

A break in the fourth was all Alcaraz needed to seal victory in the only Grand Slam final between two players seeking both a first major championship and first place in the ATP’s 1973 computerized rankings.

Ruud is a 23-year-old Norwegian who is now 0-2 in the Slam final. At the French Open in June, he was second behind Nadal.

Ruud was well back near the wall to return serve but also as the points progressed, much more so than Alcaraz who attacked whenever he could. Alcaraz went to Ruud’s weaker side, the backhand, and was successful with that, especially on serve.

Last but not least, Ruud gets the sportsmanship award for conceding a point he knew he didn’t deserve. It came while he was 4-3 down in the opener; he ran for a short ball that bounced twice before Ruud’s racquet touched him.

The game went on and Alcaraz hesitated, then screwed up his answer. But Ruud told the chair umpire what happened and gave the point to Alcaraz, who gave his opponent a thumbs-up and applauded along with the spectators to acknowledge the move.

Alcaraz certainly seems like a rare talent, possessing an enviable all-court game, a mix of ground-hitting power and a willingness to push forward and score points with his volleying skills. He won 34 points out of 45 when he went to the net on Sunday. He’s a threat on serve – he delivered 14 aces at up to 128mph on Sunday – and is coming back, earning 11 break points and converting three.

Make no mistake: Ruud is no slob either. There’s a reason he’s the youngest man since Nadal to reach two major finals in one season, and managed to win a 55-shot point in Friday’s semifinals, the longest of the tournament.

But this was Alcaraz’s time to shine, it was his turn to demonstrate a champion’s speed and endurance, skill and cool blood.

As a final serve winner bounced off Ruud’s body, Alcaraz flopped onto his back on the court, then rolled onto his stomach and covered his face with his hands. He then went into the stands to hug with his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former No. 1 who won the French Open in 2003 and reached the final of that year’s US Open, and others, all the while crying.

You only get 1st place once for the first time. You only win a first Grand Slam title once. Many people expect Alcaraz to celebrate these kinds of exploits in the years to come.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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