September 12, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Casper Ruud to win first Major, US Open title

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Casper Ruud to win first Major, US Open title

By Emmanuel Okogba

World number 3, Carlos Alcaraz defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to win his first Major and US Open title.

The teenage Spaniard became the youngest male tennis player to achieve the feat with his 3 sets to 1 victory on Sunday night.

The ding-dong affair threatened to go to the wire but for a spirited showing by Alcaraz in the third set which swung it in his favour.

Casper Ruud carrying the weight of a nation on his shoulders was aiming to become the first tennis player from Norway to win a Major title.

He made his intent known when he got the first point and game in the first set after Alcaraz came close to breaking. Alcaraz returned the favour in the second game, preventing Ruud from breaking to make it 1-1 in early exchanges.

The Spaniard will, however, break first in the third game to go 2-1 up and extended the lead to 3-1 in the fourth game. Ruud won his service game in the fifth to make it 3-2.

Alcaraz held on to his lead to take the first set 6-4 in the opening 49 minutes.

Ruud again got the first point in the second set and had to wait till the 6th game to break Alcaraz to open up a 4-2 lead.

The Norwegian capitalised on Alcaraze’s failure to hold serve and double faults in the eight game to break for the second time in the set and won 6-2, leaving the game one set each.

Alcaraz took the first point this time in the third set and broke Ruud for the second time in the match to take the first game. He was 2-0 after the second game, but a missed opportunity to break and go 3-0 meant Ruud got his first point of the set on the board to make it 2-1 after the third game.

Ruud took the initiative instead, breaking Alcaraz to make it two-all after four games. By the fifth game, he had turned it around and was ahead 3-2.

For every time Ruud went ahead, Alcaraz fought back, forced it to a tie break and won the third set 7-6 (7-1) in what was the longest game of the sluggest.

His drop shots which didn’t seem to be working on the night were substituted for powerful services and volleys.

It was Alcarez’s to lose in the fourth set. His powerful service game and playing for the sidelines was too much for Ruud as he went 2-1 up in the third game.

In the sixth game, he broke Ruud to open a two point lead 4-2 and was two games shy of his maiden Grand Slam title. He wrapped things up with a 6-3 win in the fourth set.

Alcaraz will be the youngest ever world number 1 when the latest ATP ranking is released on Monday. For Ruud who began the night as number 5 in the world, he becomes the newest number 2 after losing his second Grand Slam final this year.