Carlos Alcaraz already has his sights set on 2023 glory after US Open triumph: “More Grand Slams”

It’s indicative of the 19-year-old’s determined character and competitive nature that he already has his sights set on another Grand Slam win in 2023.

Alcaraz’ win in New York after two weeks of grueling tennis – the youngster played three consecutive five-set marathon matches in the rounds leading up to the final – makes him the youngest player to win a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal won his first 14 French Open titles in 2005.

With both being from Spain and being naturals on clay, the comparisons between Alcaraz and Nadal were inevitable. Although Alcaraz idolized Nadal in his youth, he has always fended off nicknames ‘the next Nadal’ or ‘mini-Nadal’, instead insisting that he wants to leave his own legacy.

On Sunday he took the first – and perhaps the most difficult – step of this journey.

“I’ve worked really, really hard over the past few years, and I’ve suffered a lot along the way to achieve this trophy,” said Alcaraz CNN sports‘s Carolyn Manno after beating Casper Ruud in four sets. “Obviously it’s time to keep working, stay at the top for many years or try to get more Grand Slams.
Carlos Alcaraz made history by beating Casper Ruud at the US Open.

“It’s not always happy along the way, you have to suffer a lot, a lot of hard moments in your life, so you have to overcome that. I worked really, really hard for this.

“I got the first one when I was 19, I’m hoping to get another one next year, but I’ve suffered a lot in those two weeks, so I know it’s really, really hard to get a Grand Slam, but I will working for it I will fight to get another one so this is a goal for me next year.

record breaker

With his victory, Alcaraz also claims number 1 in the world rankings for the first time, becoming the youngest player in ATP history. It’s a fitting way to cap an amazing breakthrough year for the young man from El Palmar in the Murcia region.

After winning his first ATP title in 2021, Alcaraz has continued to flourish in 2022, winning four titles – including two Masters 1000 tournaments – to climb the rankings from 32nd place earlier in the year.

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Sunday’s fight against Ruud is a clash tennis fans are likely to see a lot more of in the future, with the Norwegian being dubbed by many as a future Grand Slam champion.

After the crucial match point, a visibly emotional Alcaraz fell to the ground, although that could likely be the result of both exhaustion and emotion. He somehow managed to find the strength to climb through the stands to reach his fans’ box and share hugs with friends, family and his coach, former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

“This moment means a lot to me, it’s something I’ve been looking for since I started playing tennis,” Alcaraz said after his win. “I worked really, really hard to be able to lift that trophy today, to become the best player in the world. For me, this feeling is indescribable, so this trophy means a lot to me.

“I thought about that when I first started playing tennis and of course to all my family, all my coaches in my life, everything I was as a kid. As a kid you always dream of a lot of things and being world number 1 Being and becoming a Grand Slam champion were dreams for me.

“Lifting this trophy is now a dream come true for me so I’m so happy.”

Nadal was among the first to praise Alcaraz’s performance, with some taking his win in New York as the official passing of the torch for Spanish tennis.

“Congratulations @carlosalcaraz for your first Grand Slam and for being number 1 in the rankings which is the culmination of your first great season and I’m sure there will be many more to come!” wrote the 22-time Grand- Slam Champion on Twitter.

Given the skill, will and determination displayed at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, it looks like Spain can continue to celebrate tennis glory for years to come.

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