'I do not feel closer to Rafael Nadal,' Carlos Alcaraz admits

“I don’t feel closer to Rafael Nadal,” admits Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz made history at the US Open. The 19-year-old Spaniard claimed his first Major title and became the seventh youngest champion at one of the four most notable tournaments of the Open era. Also, Alcaraz added 2000 points to his tally and became the youngest-ever No. 1 in the world.

1 since the ATP rankings started in 1973. The Spaniard has made incredible strides in recent years, working on his game under Juan Carlos Ferrero and becoming one of the world’s leading stars. Carlos was just two years old when Rafael Nadal clinched his first Major title at Roland Garros in 2005. Growing up, he watched his compatriot and dreamed of repeating some of his successes.

A teenager is on a steady course to repeat that, having already won two Masters 1000 tournaments and a Major to top the charts and claim the ATP throne. Alcaraz spoke about Nadal, admitting that he is miles away from the legend’s Major titles, happy for the first and wanting to win the second in the future.

Carlos was one of the favorites in New York, especially after the failure of Novak Djokovic and an early exit from Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal. Still, the youngster had to work hard to get to the top, beating three straight opponents in five sets to advance into title contention.

Carlos fought Casper Ruud in the finals, with both players aiming for the first Major crown and the ATP throne. The Spaniard delivered a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 win in three hours and 20 minutes to write history books. Both players grabbed three breaks and the Spaniard saved two set points in the fourth set at 5-6 to force a tie break and take the win from there.

Carlos extended the advantage with a break in game three of the opening game, landing a powerful serve at 5-4 to close the opener in 49 minutes.

Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest major champion since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

The Norwegian secured a break point at 2-2 in the second set and took command from there, winning four games in a row to level it at 6-2 and level the aggregate score.

Carlos grabbed an early break in set number three before losing serve 2-1 to keep the rival on the positive side. Both served well until game 12 when Alcaraz was faced with two set points. A teenager saved the first with a volley winner and denied the second with a smash winner to bring the game home and force a tie break.

With a boost on his side, the Spaniard won 7-1 after a loose forehand error from the rival and edged closer to the finish line. Alcaraz produced five comfortable holds in the fourth set and kept the pressure on the other side.

He broke Ruud in the sixth game after the opponent’s loose backhand and fired a booming serve at 5-3 to start a massive celebration. “I will always be proud when Rafa wins a Major. If I lose in a Major event I will always cheer for him as I am a compatriot.”

I won the US Open but I don’t feel closer to him. Right now I have to think about winning my second major. That’s my only goal at the moment,” said Carlos Alcaraz.

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