Carlos Alcaraz is now the youngest No. 1 in Association of Tennis Professionals history after beating Casper Ruud in the US Open final on Sunday.
Alcaraz, 19, defeated 23-year-old Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in a match that lasted over three hours in New York.
He is the youngest world number one since the ATP rankings began in 1973, breaking the mark of Lleyton Hewitt, who was 20 when he became number one in 2001.
And becomes the youngest Grand Slam winner in men’s singles since compatriot Rafael Nadal won the first of his major titles in June 2005.
“I’ve dreamed of this since I was a kid. To be world No. 1, to be a champion,” Alcaraz said, adding that he was thinking of some of his family members who didn’t get to watch him play.
“I always say it’s not time to get tired in the finals of the Grand Slam, you have to give everything you’ve got,” he said.
Ruud, who was trying to become the first Norwegian to take the top spot, said he will keep chasing first place. He will rise from seventh to second in the world.
“Today was a special day, both Carlos and I knew what we were playing for and both knew what a mission was,” said Ruud. “Of course I’m disappointed that I’m not number 1, but number 2 isn’t that bad either.”
Alcaraz played three consecutive five-set matches en route to the final, including the second-longest match in US Open history he defeated Jannik Sinner at 2.50 in Thursday’s Quarterfinals – the last finish of the tournament so far.
During the US Open, the Spaniard wowed the crowd with his speed, athleticism and incredible shot quality. This latest win could be the first of many Grand Slam titles throughout his career.
Alvarez broke early in the opener but faltered in the second before hitting a tense tiebreak in the decider after saving two set points in the final game of the set. Seven points in a row brought the Spaniard within one set of the trophy.
Ruud had no reply to his opponent’s crushing forehand, serving in the fourth set and unencumbered by the weight of history, Alvarez broke with a crucial 4-2 lead to secure a sensational win.
Alcaraz, a clay-court specialist, has drawn comparisons to 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal and is only the second player in the Open Era, after Pete Sampras, to reach the US Open final as a teenager.